Both police reform advocates and law enforcement supporters face the same serious obstacle in Illinois: police union contracts include provisions protecting officers from discipline. Those contracts carry more weight than state law.View Report
Lame duck session was busy even when House Democrats weren’t focused on replacing Mike Madigan as speaker. Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s small business tax hike died as 23 bills were passed, including one making Chicago’s pension woes worse.
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.
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.
Across all five state retirement systems, typical career workers pay for about 5% of the cost of their pension benefits. They receive an average of $1.7 million to $3.6 million.
Massive increases in public safety pension contributions have failed to keep Oak Lawn’s credit from being downgraded to junk status. The Chicago suburb’s leaders are fighting cuts and tax increases, which are inevitable without pension reform in Springfield.
Illinois has nation’s worst pension debt. Maybe that’s because state lawmakers take a problem they aren’t sure exists, apply a solution they don’t know will work and never determine the cost.