Gov. Pat Quinn has a tough job ahead of him as he prepares to deliver his latest proposed budget for a state in financial disarray.
Outside analysts in recent months have described Illinois' fiscal condition as "a deep hole," a "downspin" and "not fiscally sustainable."
Several factors have contributed to the state's budget mess.
Lawmakers have yet to find a solution for Illinois' $97 billion pension crisis. That's caused annual payments to public-employee retirement funds to balloon to nearly 16 percent of the state's general funds budget. It likely means multimillion-dollar cuts to education and other areas.
Years of what critics call "budget gimmicks" also has left Illinois with a $9 billion backlog of unpaid bills, and the state's economic recovery has been slow.
Quinn's address is scheduled for Wednesday.