The Civic Federation

Flickr/Jason Dunnivant

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.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

A new report says Illinois remains in deep budget trouble.

The government watchdog group the Civic Federation says in a Monday report that Illinois could be $8.3 billion in the red when the fiscal year ends next June.

The news comes despite a significant boost in the state income tax rate.

The $8.3 billion includes $5.5 billion in unpaid bills and another $2.8 billion from a payment backlog for Medicaid, employee health insurance bills and business tax refunds.