Due to its poor financial health and lagging economy, Illinois carries unique economic and fiscal risks from a prolonged market downturn or recession. The state must act now to mitigate harm from COVID-19.View Report
East St. Louis is short $9.5 million between a budget deficit and back payments owed to its fire and police pensions. As a result, city leaders are closing a firehouse and laying off nine firefighters.
East St. Louis already faces a $2.2 million state funding diversion for its firefighters pension fund. Now the police pension board is demanding $1.79 million the city owes that fund.
Bailouts reward bad behavior. Reform rewards residents. Lawmakers should bend toward the latter.
The southwestern Illinois city faces high crime and poverty rates, as well as a $5.5 million budget deficit. Now, $2.2 million owed to its firefighters pension threatens to halt the flow of state funds.
Avenues for state oversight for cities with financial difficulties have limited utility in the face of massive pension debt and have almost never been invoked since Springfield passed them into law in 1990.
East St. Louis’ police and fire pension funds experienced large funding shortfalls in 2016, putting the city at risk of revenue garnishment from the state comptroller’s office.
Two township administrators took state grant funds intended for a summer youth program to cover up for illegal credit card purchases.
East St. Louis Township paid $550 to a politician, who had previously spent four years in federal prison for tax evasion, to clear an inch of snow from the township's parking lot - a task he didn't even complete.
This year was full of corruption and mismanagement from public officials, but four instances in particular stand out.