Pension costs for state government workers reached an all-time high in 2016, consuming 25 percent of the state’s general budget.1 Today, more than $8 billion of the state’s yearly $32 billion budget goes to pay for pension costs, sapping tremendous amounts of money from social services for the developmentally disabled, grants for low-income college students, and aid to home...View Report
Former Gov. Jim Edgar’s pension compromise with House Speaker Mike Madigan in the 1990s set the state’s pension funds down an unsustainable road.
Under former Gov. Jim Edgar’s pension ramp, unfunded pension liabilities have increased nearly $100 billion despite taxpayers contributing $16.4 billion more to the five state-run pension systems than required under the Edgar plan.
There’s immense pressure on Illinois legislators to pass a pension bill. With the state pension system nearing insolvency and credit agencies warning of further downgrades, the perceived wisdom is that any pension fix, no matter how small, is a “step forward” that must be passed. But when it comes to pension reform in Illinois, that...