Oak Lawn credit rating hits junk status amid skyrocketing pension costs

By Brad Weisenstein
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.

TAGS: credit rating, fire pensions, firefighter pensions, Illinois Department of Insurance, junk credit rating, Moody's Investor Service, municipal pensions, oak lawn, pension benefits, pension contributions, pension costs, pension crisis, pension debt, pension obligations, pension reform, pension spending, police pensions, public safety, public safety pensions

Pritzker signs pension sweetener bill without knowing the cost

By Adam Schuster
Illinois’ pension crisis is the nation’s worst. Maybe that’s because elected officials take a problem they aren’t sure exists, apply a solution they don’t know will work and never determine the cost.

TAGS: bipartisan, consolidation, constitutional amendment, Illinois, Illinois Constitution, Illinois General Assembly, JB Pritzker, lawmakers, pension benefits, pension costs, pension crisis, pension debt, pension reform, safe harbor, Springfield, tier 1, tier 2

Absent pension crisis, Illinois could afford ‘free’ college

By Adam Schuster
Illinois could give every undergraduate in public college nearly $70k a year if it spent the same 4% of its budget on pensions as it did throughout the 90s, rather than the 25% it spends today.

TAGS: college, DCFS: Department of Children and Family Services, general revenue fund, Illinois, Illinois General Assembly, illinois state police, pension costs, pension crisis, pension debt, savings, Springfield, state university, students, tax burden, undergraduate