The mayor’s Chicago budget plan includes a $76.5 million property tax hike despite $3.5 billion in federal aid and funds permanent programs with temporary revenues but includes no push to fix pensions.View Report
Taxpayer contributions accounted for 56% of the money that flowed into Illinois’ pension funds in 2000. Two decades later, residents funded 84% of public employees’ retirements, yet pension debt is still growing.
Unrealistic assumptions and missed investment returns have meant Illinois taxpayers paid $13.7 billion more for public pensions than state leaders projected five years earlier. Unless the estimates improve, taxpayers will pay an extra $21.3 billion during the next decade.
Polling showed 61% of Illinois voters would approve an amendment to the state constitution changing future pension benefits while guaranteeing those already earned by public employees. Taxes remain Illinoisans’ top concern.
Gov. J.B Pritzker touted his record on pensions, claiming his administration reduced pension debt. He cites an analysis of state pension data but fails to mention its conclusion suggesting reform.
The former Illinois House assistant majority leader received a taxpayer-funded pension worth $129,000 between his retirement in 2019 after being arrested for bribery by federal authorities and his conviction in 2022.
The Chicago City Council approved a casino development in the River West neighborhood. The generated revenue will exclusively pay for pension debt, but only an estimated 9% of what the city needs.
Gov. J.B Pritzker has touted his record on higher education funding, even hinting many students should be given free tuition, but pensions are driving up tuition and eating state university funding. Pritzker refuses to tame that beast.
Vermont and other blue states have recent pension reforms including reductions in cost of living adjustments. What makes Illinois different?
Illinois spends 27% less on higher education than it did in 2007. University pension spending grew by 510% in that time. It doesn’t take a math major to see why tuition has increased 49%.
Ex-Alderman Danny Solis handed federal prosecutors the top politicians in Chicago and the Statehouse to get out of bribery charges. His deal could let him keep his pension – a ploy too common in Illinois as voters consider Amendment 1’s potential for protecting pension abuse.