A series of questions for Illinois' elected officials

Do Illinois lawmakers have a clue what it means to balance the state budget?

Bill Bergman of Truth in Accounting has a few questions for Illinois' leaders as they look ahead to the hard work of actually governing the state. Bergman is especially interested in the state budget.

Bergman's questions:

1. What does the Illinois Constitution mean when it comes to the "balanced budget requirement" that people talk about?

2. Does Illinois really "balance its budget?"

3. Should the state count debt proceeds as revenue as a valid way to "balance the budget?"

4. Should all the costs be included in a valid "balanced budget" calculation, or just the checks written?

5. Will you pledge to provide monthly (or more frequent) reporting of investment results, given how deep the state's financial hole is, and the possibility that the state and closely-connected decision makers might be taking more risk on the taxpayer's dime?

6. Did the state make good decisions in getting into the derivative contracts now reported on the state's balance sheet?

7. Is the state's capital overstated by pseudo-assets that are now reported along with its derivative liability?

8. Should the state have to disclose the costs and benefits of "tax abatements?"

9. Do you believe the full amount of unfunded promises on retirement benefit plans should be reported on the face of the balance sheet?

10. Should these previously unreported liabilities have been reported earlier? What might the state's finances look like today if, for instance, this happened a decade ago?

Read Bergman's explanations for these questions at Reboot Illinois.

Scott Reeder from the Illinois Policy Institute also has a question for Gov. Pat Quinn post-election: Why do you not tip your waiters better when you purport to be a champion of minimum-wage workers?

Well, yes, Pat I agree.

It would be difficult to support a family on a minimum wage.

Just ask, Joy O'Brien.

You know her, Pat.

She's that waitress who spent years serving you and your political cronies at Chef Petros in downtown Chicago...

"I was earning $2.13 an hour and depended on tips to make up the difference. It's really hypocritical for someone to be talking about raising the minimum wage when they are so cheap. I think the biggest tip I received from Pat Quinn was $1.75. Sometimes it was less."

Quinn earns $177,412 as governor of Illinois.

Check out the rest of Reeder's beef with Quinn's tipping practices at Reboot Illinois.