Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday said the budget he'll present next week will be "lean," but won't cut back on key services.
"We have to be very, very frugal," the Chicago Democrat said. "But I believe in investing in education, and health care, public safety. We have to do those things to have a good state."
Quinn is expected to release his proposal for the new budget next week Wednesday.
During a visit to the Chicago Auto Show, the governor rejected the notion that the recently-passed tax increase will be painful for residents.
"When you say 'pain,' everyone I think makes sacrifices. That's part of getting to the common good,'' he said.
Even with the tax increase, the state's finances continue to be in the red.
"I'm going to lay out a budget that's a fair budget that invests in the important things for Illinois," Quinn said, ruling out borrowing money to cover shortfalls in the year ahead.
That worries advocates for social services, from child-care to training for the disabled to drug treatment. They fear their programs will see the deepest cuts.
"We can't be cutting back on things that harm our economic recovery,'' he said. "It's a balancing act. It's going to be not a year where we will have extravagance in any way shape or form."