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
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.
Pension deficits are causing communities to consider more borrowing – and gambling with the proceeds – as pensions continue to consume bigger shares of budgets.
A new bill in the Illinois House calls for suspending the pensions for legislators facing corruption charges. Former House Speaker Michael Madigan, recently indicted for racketeering and bribery, is set to collect $12,600 per month starting in July.
Illinois’ 90% funding target already violates best practices, but some have proposed going even lower. That’s a bad idea based on a myth, according to the American Academy of Actuaries.
Illinois school districts paid out $8.8 million in penalties over two school years to cover salary and sick days in excess of what is allowed by law. Those are dollars taken from classrooms, but only hint at the full taxpayer cost.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill to boost Chicago firefighter cost-of-living increases last year, costing taxpayers $850 million. Despite Mayor Lori Lightfoot calling it “irresponsible,” a new bill would do the same for city police at more than triple the cost.
Illinois lawmakers might borrow $1 billion to extend pension buyout programs until 2026. Experts warn the efforts have been a disappointment and will do little to ease Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation pension crisis.