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
The state’s government unions have heavily funded the election committees run by longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan – who then uses his influence to pass union-friendly bills.
State workers represented by AFSCME Council 31 will see pay increases averaging $1,343 starting July 1. Total cost of the raises is $261 million as COVID-19 continues depleting state revenues.
Election Day 2020 would be a paid holiday for all government workers – at an unknown cost to already ailing local governments.
Tucked into sweeping vote-by-mail legislation is a holiday provision that would make Nov. 3, 2020, a holiday for all state and local government workers.
With more than 755,000 Illinoisans out of work, state employees are still scheduled to get their automatic raises. Gov. J.B. Pritzker is treating those raises as non-negotiable. Governors in other states would disagree.
Pritzker should join other Democratic governors in postponing automatic pay raises, which would free up funds for needy Illinoisans and potentially preserve state worker jobs in the long run.
The Illinois General Assembly passed over 600 new laws in 2019. Some helped taxpayers, but many more hurt as they spent $85 billion while doing little to fix the pension crisis.
So who wants to fund a highly unpopular politician’s sexual harassment settlement on behalf of a disgraced political worker under federal investigation? Executives at Illinois’ largest public-sector labor unions.
AFSCME gave $71,400 in October to Friends of Michael J. Madigan – the same election committee the Illinois House speaker used to pay legal fees in a sexual harassment lawsuit.
Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan settled a sexual harassment case involving his former political lieutenant, but the related corruption implications are far from over.