Each Illinois household on the hook for $56K in government-worker retirement debt

By Ted Dabrowski, John Klingner
In 2012, the unfunded debt related to pensions and retiree health care costs for local and state government workers across Illinois was $203 billion, the equivalent of more than $43,000 per household. In just six years, the total debt Illinois households are on the hook for has jumped to $56,000, or 31 percent. That’s a $13,000 increase for each household. Total unfunded debt for state and local governments in Illinois now totals $267 billion.

TAGS: GARS: General Assembly Retirement System, JRS: Judges’ Retirement System, pensions, SERS: State Employee Retirement System, SURS: State Universities Retirement System, TRS: Teachers’ Retirement System

Never enough: AFSCME votes to strike, declines Rauner’s contract offer that retained many lavish perks

By Mailee Smith
The state’s largest government-worker union just voted to authorize a strike for state workers. The union perpetuates a myth that Gov. Bruce Rauner is waging war on the middle class – all while ignoring that his contract offer to state workers includes benefits unavailable to most Illinoisans working in the private sector.

TAGS: AFSCME: American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, Bruce Rauner, health insurance, pensions

Illinois politicians’ remedy for state flirting with recession? Multibillion-dollar tax hikes

By Ted Dabrowski, Craig Lesner
A new report from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability shows Illinois has experienced falling tax collections, which may indicate trouble in the state economy; spending reforms – not tax hikes – are what Illinois needs to right its fiscal ship and boost economic growth.

TAGS: AFSCME: American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, Christine Radogno, corporate income tax, income tax, John Cullerton, Medicaid, pensions, property taxes, sales tax, taxes

Instead of tax hikes, end pension pickups

By Joe Kaiser
Lawmakers are proposing a range of new tax hikes as a “compromise” solution to the state’s budget woes. But simple reforms to Illinois’ teacher pension system are a better way to fix the state’s finances without hurting taxpayers.

TAGS: education, pensions