With the state's finances in shambles and an election year upon us, Gov. Pat Quinn did something politicians rarely do when it comes to managing money: asked state residents for help.
Earlier this week, the Civic Federation issued a report stating that the only way to help fix Illinois' $13 billion deficit is to raise taxes and cut the budget by an additional $2 billion--solutions that would go over like a lead balloon amidst a deep recession.
Instead of making these tough choices and dealing with the public wrath (which will probably come anyway), Quinn's office launched a website asking Illinois residents to prioritize: should the state cut education funding and give more to health care? Should both be cut to make way for more road construction? Quinn's budget director David Vaught asks voters to decide on the site.
The site also asks whether the state should raise taxes and by how much--and allows voters to "suggest a solution" to state budget problems.
Quinn is set to address lawmakers about the budget on March 10.