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
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.
More than 50 percent of the state’s $4.1 billion budget for public universities is spent on retirement costs alone.
Top school district superintendents have used the sick-leave perk to boost their pensions by $350,000 or more over the course of their retirements.
A golden rule of finance is this: Debt that can’t be paid won’t be paid.
The Illinois Senate’s proposed budget deal is full of tax hikes because it lacks the necessary spending reforms needed to right Illinois’ fiscal ship.
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.
The Civic Federation’s budget plan repeats old mistakes with multibillion-dollar tax hikes and no serious, structural reform.
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.
Illinois state senators are considering a budget with massive tax hikes, but is short on critical pension reforms, which would save taxpayers billions.
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.