CHICAGO

Laurence Msall Of Civic Federation: Without Tax Increase, 'Very Massive Cuts' Needed To Balance Budget (VIDEO)

04/26/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Laurence Msall of the Civic Federation, a non-partisan budget watchdog, told NBC Chicago on Wednesday that the state could balance its budget without tax increases.

But in order to do so, he said, it would require a "fundamental change" in the types of public services Illinoisans can expect, especially in regards to education and health care.

Illinois is currently running a $13 billion deficit, and faces a dire and still-growing pension liability. Just this week, Msall's Civic Federation released a grim report indicating that the state would need to cut spending and raise taxes in order to escape its "horrific" economic situation.

"Doomsday is here for the state of Illinois," Msall told the Sun-Times.

In this NBC footage, he admits that all cuts and no revenue increases through new taxes (an idea floated by hard-line fiscal conservatives) could solve the budget problem, but it would mean "very massive cuts" in basic social services, of a kind that one imagines would be widely politically unpopular.

Meanwhile, the state is looking for all the help it can get; on Wednesday, it also launched a new website where it encourages the public to make suggestions for ways to help solve the budget crisis.

Watch Msall discuss cuts without tax hikes:

View morenews videos at: http://www.nbcchicago.com/video.

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