Senate deficit committee finishes work, will not offer specific suggestions

State Capitol Bureau

An Illinois Senate committee assigned to review ways of closing the state's deficit wrapped up its work Wednesday but will not offer specific ways of cutting costs or raising revenue.

Instead, the committee only plans to issue a report dealing in generalities, that the state should make changes to its pension programs to reduce costs and that additional revenue should be raised rather than trying to have the state cut its way out of a budget deficit now topping $12 billion in a legislative estimate.

The committee has been meeting for a month to hear testimony from various interest groups on how to deal with spending on education, pensions and health care. Committee co-chair Sen. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago, said the meetings were valuable even if the committee does not plan to adopt detailed recommendations.

Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine, the other co-chair, said he heard ideas that could save the state $3 billion. He said Republicans are crunching numbers of those ideas and will present a detailed list to committee members in upcoming days.

State Capitol Bureau