Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn Wednesday at noon began his annual budget address, offering a preview of his proposed 2014 budget for the financially-struggling state.
During the address, Quinn used dramatic rhetoric in blaming the state legislature for failing to take action on the state's underfunded public pension system.
"This year’s budget is a tough pill to swallow. But it’s only managing the symptoms of a grievous condition that threatens the fiscal health of our state. … And so I ask you, as our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln, asked in this year’s film: ‘Shall we stop this bleeding?" the governor said at the conclusion of his thirty-minute address Wednesday, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
The Chicago Democrat governor also described the 2014 budget as the "most difficult" one he has ever submitted. And it's expected to get more difficult, NBC Chicago notes: the state's General Assembly is likely to make more cuts beyond what the governor is calling for.
On Tuesday, lawmakers approved a resolution that would cap the state's general fund spending at $35.08 billion. The governor's proposal calls for $35.6 billion in general fund spending.
The $62.4 overall budget includes pension payments totaling $6 billion and strives to shrink the state's unprecedented bill backlog to $6.8 billion in the fiscal year ahead.
While both overall spending and revenues are up in the budget, that extra money is heading toward growing pension costs, the Chicago Sun-Times notes.
(Scroll down to read Quinn's address, as prepared for delivery.)
The proposed budget also includes $400 million worth of education cuts, the Associated Press reports.
"We have a series of reductions that the governor does not want to do," Quinn budget chief Jerry Stermer said at a budget preview event Tuesday evening, according to the AP. "These are outside his vision of where we ought to be. These reductions are a direct result of no action on pensions."