Taxpayer contributions accounted for 56% of the money that flowed into Illinois’ pension funds in 2000. Two decades later, residents funded 84% of public employees’ retirements, yet pension debt is still growing.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker calls his $3.7 billion income tax hike a “fair tax.” But opponents have criticized the constitutional amendment as a blank check for House Speaker Mike Madigan and other state lawmakers, courtesy of Illinois taxpayers.
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.
A provision included in the bargaining agreement reached between Chicago and its teachers union will allow teachers to trade up to 244 unused sick days for pension credits – billable to all Illinois taxpayers.
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton is championing a bill to merge more than 640 local police and fire pension funds into two investment pools. With lawmakers returning to Springfield for veto session, action on the bill may be near.