A new report shows nearly a quarter of Illinois' state spending plan for next year will go toward pension payments. The Illinois State House and the State Senate have so far disagreed on the best way to address the worst-funded pension system in the country.
Laurence Msall is with the Civic Federation - a budget watchdog group. He says the state used to spend about 7 percent of its budget on retirement benefits. Now it's closer to 25 percent.
"It effectively means that all new revenue, in order to keep up with that growth, has to go into the pension system," Msall said.
Msall says the state's financial outlook is so bad - it also owes nearly $7 billion in a backlog of bills to its vendors - including social service agencies.