Missouri treasurer: Don't be like Illinois
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt is offering strong criticism of the state budget — of another state.
The first-term Republican on Tuesday spoke at a news conference along the Mississippi River in St. Louis, urging Missouri lawmakers to avoid the pitfalls that have befallen neighboring Illinois.
The Democrat-controlled Illinois Legislature has approved a $36 billion budget that ended a two-year fiscal stalemate. The budget includes a $5 billion income tax increase.
Schmitt says Missouri lawmakers must act now to avoid a similar crisis in the future. He says Missouri has a pension liability that could eventually result in severe cuts of services and higher taxes.
He also says the state must work to protect its AAA credit rating and continue to shrink the size of government.