Gov. Pat Quinn's administration expects state revenues to increase by $1.4 billion in the coming fiscal year. Unfortunately for Illinois, that's still not enough to feed the beast.
The state needs to put $6 billion into its state employee pension funds next fiscal year, up from $5.1 billion this year. An expense that just six years ago accounted for 6 percent of the general fund budget now will eat up 19 percent of it.
And there's still no comprehensive pension reform plan in place to deal with the pension funds' $96 billion deficit.
Quinn, in his budget address Wednesday, asked lawmakers a question that most state taxpayers would like answered: "What are you waiting for?"
Because lawmakers have failed to reform pensions and substantially reduce costs, budgeting in Illinois has become action by inaction. Quinn has budgeted $400 million in education cuts, not because he thinks it's a good thing to do, but because that's the way he sees to make the numbers work.
Whether the numbers actually work is debatable. The House estimates revenues at $50 million less than Quinn does. And the Illinois Chamber of Commerce think that Quinn's plan to raise revenues by closing some corporate tax loopholes is unconstitutional.
What's clear is that Illinois' finances remain in horrible shape, and that won't change without comprehensive pension reform.
As we keep pointing out, Democrats have supermajorities in the Senate and House. So what are they waiting for? There is no excuse for inaction.