"We're trying to plug the holes as they come up, so as to keep things afloat, but every time we plug up one hole, there's another one coming through."
Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka compares the state's finances to a sinking ship; one she hopes Governor Quinn can rescue. But, doing that will be a lot easier said than done. Part of the reason why is the pension crisis.
"I'd like to hear there is something planned ahead for dealing with the pensions because everything completely hinges on the pensions."
When she says "everything," she means "everything:" schools, hospitals, charities. You name it. They all depend on state funding. Funding that continues to shrink year after year.
"We certainly need to look at schools and make sure we fund them adequately. That is our future."
So, what could Quinn's rescue plan include? That's anyone's guess. But, Topinka has a few suggestions. She says he needs to push for pension reform and find a way to tackle all the unpaid bills.
"We're a big state that ought to act like a big state and take on its problems like a big kid as opposed to taking our dollies and going home."
Governor Quinn's budget address is at noon in the house chamber.