Illinois’ pension crisis has been a growing problem for decades, and its negative effects on state residents are well documented.1 Economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and related government shutdown orders threaten to bring that long-running crisis closer to its breaking point. The state’s five pension systems collectively held nearly $139 billion of debt at...View Report
Illinoisans pay a hidden pension tax. Eliminating that cost would free up resources to help Illinois recover from the COVID-19 recession while also raising the state’s long-term economic potential.
Because of a pension sweetener for politicians that Madigan helped create, the former speaker’s pension will spike more than $66,000 the year after his first full year of retirement, then grow 3% each year thereafter.
Over the objections of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who called the legislation “irresponsible,” state lawmakers passed a bill to increase the cost-of-living adjustment for 2,200 Chicago firefighter pensions to 3% from 1.5%. Gov. J.B. Pritzker should veto it.
Illinois’ current budget started out at a deficit, hoped for a tax increase that was rejected and counted on a federal bail-out that never came. Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s best fix is pension reform.
New official reporting from the state of Illinois shows both rising debt and rising costs in state retirement systems, with essential government services again facing cuts.
Emergency services have been cut in Peoria because public pension costs are growing. Voters will be asked whether a property tax hike should fix the problem.
‘Fair tax’ backers funded by Gov. J.B. Pritzker created the illusion of bipartisanship by using a former public employee union staffer who collects a generous taxpayer-funded pension due to a loophole in state law.
Illinois’ broken pension system puts $100,000 a year or more into the hands of 62 former state lawmakers. It has paid more than $1 million to 94 of them.
Three points stick out in recently released numbers: First, J.B. Pritzker is not a popular governor. Second, pollsters need to get real about the “fair tax” fantasy. And third, pension reform draws a diverse base of support, except at the Statehouse
Illinois Democrats, union members, government or nonprofit workers, and people of all income groups support a pension amendment that allows for changes in cost-of-living raises and other future benefits.