Illinois Budget Awarded Despite $13 Billion Deficit

05/23/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Illinois lawmakers continue hearings this week on the state's troubled budget. Governor Pat Quinn estimates a two-year budget deficit of more than $13-billion. Not exactly the picture of financial health. But here's some irony for you: Illinois keeps getting high marks from a professional association of budget gurus.

Illinois' budget problems, Governor Quinn and others argue, are the result of the economic downturn - yes - but also years of political inaction and bickering. This current fiscal year the state borrowed billions but can't pay all its bills. Still, a Chicago-based group made up of government budgeting professionals gave Illinois an award, and they weren't trying to be funny.

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