How much of our money does Illinois have? Is it spending too much?
We still don't know, yet.
Here we are, nearly a year after Illinois' last fiscal year ended in June 2012, and the state still hasn't filed its annual financial report for that year. Forty seven of the 50 states have reported fiscal 2012 results, but not Illinois.
Like 49 of the 50 states, Illinois has a "balanced budget requirement." The requirements are stricter in some states than others. Illinois has one of the looser requirements, particularly when you compare Illinois' record since 2005 to its neighbors.
Illinois spent more money than it collected in six of the last seven years, ending in 2011 -- and trailed its neighbors in budget balancing by a wide margin. Even Michigan -- especially hard hit in the Great Recession -- managed to post an improvement in its budget balance in recent years.
Illinois passed a significant income tax increase in 2011, and full-year 2012 results should show a greater contribution from that increase. But we still don't know if Illinois managed to really balance its budget in a fiscal year that began almost two years ago.
Each week, Reboot Illinois and Truth in Accounting will present a chart that helps illustrate the true financial condition of the state of Illinois.