Illinois pension system

Unproductive Special Session
6:01 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Pension Reform Goes Nowhere; Lawmakers Go Home

The Illinois Capitol building

No pension legislation moved through the Illinois General Assembly during Friday's special legislative session.

Democrats pushed along a plan to cut pension benefits for  state elected politicians and no one else, but opponents -- including Representative Darlene Senger (R-Naperville) -- called the proposal disingenuous.

"I am not going to vote for this. I think it's a farce," said Senger.

"I think we're basically coming out and saying we're doing something and we're absolutely not, and it's a real disservice for those who live in this state."

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Study from Governor's Office
5:46 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Quinn: Funding Decline If Higher Ed Pensions Not Changed

Rich Egger

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's office is touting a one-page analysis claiming higher education will suffer if lawmakers fail to address Illinois' pension problem.

In the so-called study, Quinn's budget office estimates that state funding of higher education will steadily decline over the next five years.

The projections show more money would be needed to pay for university and community college employees' pensions, which would leave less for schools and scholarships for needy students.

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Largest Deficit in US
2:51 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Illinois Pension Debt Hurts Other State Services

15% of the state budget in Illinois this year is going toward pensions.  That means there's less to spend on other needs.
                                              
The gap between what has Illinois promised employees they will get when they retire and what the state has set aside to pay those pensions is $83 billion.  State government would have to completely shut down for two-and-a-half years, and use all of that operating budget money on pensions, to pay off that debt.
 

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Still No Agreement
8:19 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Illinois Pension Talks Turn to School Funding Issues

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn
Rich Egger

It's doubtful Illinois' pension crisis will be resolved soon.

Legislative leaders and the governor met Thursday, June 21 to discuss whether the state or local school districts should pay retirement costs for downstate and suburban teachers. The state picks up the tab now, but it doesn't pay for Chicago teachers' retirement benefits.

After the meeting, top lawmakers said they're going to spend five weeks studying school funding equality. Then they'll work on what to do about Illinois' hugely underfunded government pensions.

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Spring Session Ends
11:19 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Illinois Budget Approved; Pension Reform Lingers

The Illinois Capitol building

Illinois lawmakers worked 90 minutes overtime to complete work on the new state budget. But they still have not addressed concerns with the state's pension system.

The Budget

The  Democratic budget imposes cuts throughout state government. But Republicans say the high spending levels mean the temporary income tax increase will have to be made permanent.

Democrats were attacked from within, too.

Democratic Senator Kimberly Lightford railed against what she said is too little money for higher education.

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