Click here for the video and story. From www.ABCLocal.Go.com/WLS and the interview done by anchor Ravi Baichwal.
January 30, 2009 (WLS) -- Since the arrest of former Governor Rod Blagojevich in December the business of running the state has ground to a halt.
Now Governor Pat Quinn must get Illinois government working again.
At the top of that list is what to do with the finances of America's fifth largest state. Despite constitutional requirements that Illinois balance it budget every year, the books are in the red. It's estimated two to 3.5 billion for this year alone. And through a series of accounting tricks -- or political math -- some say the debt of the Land of Lincoln is in the tens of billions of dollars. Like it is for you and me, those bills are going to have to be paid some day. And with a new administration, that day is likely sooner rather than later.
Pension obligations for a range of state workers. Billions in Medicare bills that a state loophole allows to be paid the year after their incursion. Free public transit rides for seniors. All state obligations not listed in the current budget -- a fiscal time bomb according to the institute for truth in accounting.
"We need to start taking personal responsibility and living within our budget, the state needs to start living within its budget the feds too instead of this la la land where we can have anything we want and not have the consequences against it," said Sheila Weinberg, Institute for Truth in Accounting.
Read more and see the video here.