Thursday, May 28, 2020

Public pension and salary ‘double-dippers’ targeted in new bill – Chicago Sun-Times Called the "Retirement Means Retirement Act," it's intended to end pension payments the those not retired. Unions, of course, are opposed. State Rep. Jack Franks,...

Illinois’ pension guarantees mean teachers double their money – Illinois

Illinois Hits a New Low as Springfield Prepares for Pension Debate – The American Interest

Illinois House passes pension fix for Chicago park district – Chicago Sun-Times

"Chicago Park District’s $971 million pension shortfall that threatens 6,100 existing park employees or retirees.... Current employees would be asked to contribute up to...

Gov. Quinn, let Chicago solve its pension crisis – Tribune

"Governor, you don't have to own whatever City Hall does after you sign the pension bill. So stop owning it." via Gov. Quinn, let Chicago...

Moody’s warns Illinois about its credit rating – Tribune,0,2992838.story

“Don’t frighten the children”- an actuary’s view of Illinois’ phony pension numbers

How could the state get away with lying about the size of the pension problem and why would the media be asleep at the...

Interview with Chicago’s CFO – Chicago Policy Review

"From a city level, what makes Chicago unique is the layering effect. Chicago is the worst funded city in pensions in the worst pension...

Cradle-to-Grave Debt Load Leaves No Chicagoan Unburdened – Bloomberg

Chicagoans: Let somebody else pay for pension mess – Public Sector Inc

Rahm’s $12.5 Billion Teachers’ Pension Problem, 30% Higher Than They Told Us – Dropout Nation

And the unfunded liability has been worsening, like most public pensions in Illinois, despite rebounding stock prices. Comment: As we've said about 12.5 billion times...

Partly cloudy: Municipal online transparency scores vary widely – IPI

an audit of the websites of the 26th through 50th largest municipalities in the state. Online transparency levels varied wildly from community to community....

Rahm removes property-tax requirement in city pension bill

Dysfunctional Illinois: No play, no pay – The Economist

Presented without comment: Progressive Caucus says new revenue other than property tax needed to solve Chicago’s pension crisisVoices

Illinois Pension Reform: An Interview With State Senator Daniel Biss – Education Next

Dan Biss is a rarity -- a lawmaker who understands numbers -- and this interview provides as good a defense of the recent pension...

In Illinois Senate, Leadership in Both Parties Must Finally Acknowledge Full Severity of Pension Crisis – WP Original

March 6, 2014 By: Mark Glennon Springfield is taking its time about it, but soon, hopefully, it will legislate reforms of city and local...

The market’s opinion: Pension deal did little to solve Illinois credit problems – MMD, IPI

The interest penalty Illinois taxpayers shoulder for the state's bad credit remains at crisis levels -- about where it was earlier this year. That...

It’s time to change the way Illinois state budgets are created – Reboot lllinois

A former state legislator says we need longer-term budgeting, openness in the budget process and reduction of the use of special funds, which often...

Illinois pensions to get $100 million share of JPMorgan settlement – Associated Press That's much less than 1/1,000 of the unfunded liability, but every little bit helps.

Senate President John Cullerton: Pension debt not a ‘crisis’ – business groups just seeking lower taxes – Tribune,0,3487357.story Cullerton's going all-in with public sector unions on this claim. For a little historical perspective, Cullerton's family has been a blight on our government almost...

Senate votes down larger pension reform — Tribune,0,2650378.story

Teachers’ Union Pres. Karen Lewis is One of the Five Percent – Dropout Nation

More budget madness: IL taxpayers to fund $50M for Chicago teachers pension, $10M for Chicago theatre

No wonder downstate thinks about secession.,0,3396290.story

Obamacare Is A Stealth Bailout Of State And Local Governments – Business Insider

Chicago unions organize to fight potential public worker pension cuts – WBEZ Chicago

The coalition, announced Monday, is called We Are One Chicago. It brings together nine labor groups representing nearly 140,000 city workers, from cops to...

Defining Actuarial Soundness of Pensions is Actually “Making Shit Up” – Says an Actuary

The rich get richer — payouts to Illinois’ top pensioners listed here

Illinois lawmakers’ own pension fund is hopelessly broke

Illinois must step away from public pensions altogether-Northwest Herald

SEC will be looking hard at Illinois pension disclosures – NYT

Especially important: the shortfall in annual contributions needed to keep a pension fully funded -- the "ARC." “There almost needs to be a bold statement...

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis vows to fight cuts to retiree pensions – WBEZ

Rahm is ignoring her, going straight to the legislature -- as he should.

Civic Committee: Illinois pension system ‘unfixable’; text of their memo here

Illinois Fiscal Health Approaches Critical Juncture, S&P Says – Businessweek

Comment: "Critical Juncture"? Hell, we were at that 15 years ago. That's the same vacuous phrase Quinn used in his State of the State...

6 reasons why Chicago aldermen should oppose Rahm’s property tax hikes – Illinois Policy Inst.

Illinois pension law saves $15 billion less than first thought – Tribune,0,1417109.story

One solution for Illinois’ pension problem – Opinion – Crain’s

Illinois legislators bail from their own pension plan – Illinois News Network

Increasingly, Illinois lawmakers are opting not to participate in the state pension system, a trend some see as a realization of the bleak outlook...

If Illinois is such a financial wreck, why are its bonds selling so well?

Only a devastating shock will get real action on Illinois pensions, but what? – WirePoints Original

  "I think it's going to reach a point where there's either social disorder or bankruptcy before people will act." That’s what Richard Ravich said about...

An independent, honest actuary’s response to the Illinois pension deal – UPDATED

  November 30, 2013 By: Mark Glennon John Bury is an actuary and a nationally recognized pension expert in New Jersey, who writes regularly about public...

Moody’s report shows states’ failure to recognize scope of pension problems: Illinois’ unfunded liability over TWICE what’s reported

This is old news if you're a regular reader here, yet the media continue to use the state's phony numbers. Remember that the numbers...

Illinois Penalty Shrinks 29% on Bond Sale After Pension Bill – Businessweek

Nice to see improvement, and pension bill supporters are already bragging about this, but read closely: The penalty merely fell back to where it...

$620 billion owed by state pensions, $62 billion on hand to pay it typepad/dlacomb/illinoisreview (illinoisreview)

Just who is endangering Illinois’ municipal pensioners? WirePoints Original

  We pension pessimists are actually pension villains -- the hardball folks happy to cut pensions, starve retired teachers, steal from cops, and so on....

Nasty surprise in new push for an Illinois “fair tax” – Tribune

For most people, income taxes would increase above the rate that Democrats have already written into state law for 2015. via Surprise in new push...

Fitch cuts Illinois rating over failure to fix pensions – Reuters

State in deepest financial hole ever – Crain’s Chicago Business

Illinois' net cumulative deficit for "governmental activities" — a broad measure of obligations the state has accrued, relative to resources it has to pay...

BGA: “Double Dipping Docs” Getting Rehired While Collecting State Pensions

Three Perverted Words: Honorable, Independent, Actuarial – A Pension Actuary

"Consultants offering up advice they were paid for hardly makes them independent and whenever the word ‘actuarial’ appears in a report (as in actuarial...

19% of IL revenue goes to pensions while national average is 4.1% – Moody’s

Does the Whole World Think Illinois Is Crazy? – Huffington Post

Three reasons Illinois’ pension plan falls short – State Budget Solutions

Borrowing + taxes put Illinois at top of taxpayer burden list nationally – Reboot Illinois

And we get That been the that treatments be ks pharmacy online thailand like strips and what is flagyl taken for up...

Air the pension reform bill – Chicago Tribune editorial,0,5370080.story "Let's see the bill before there is a vote." Amen. We especially want to see the language on the "guaranty" provision, which threatens to make...

Illinois has 43% of America’s public pension plans – COGFA

We have over 600 of them! The recent pension bill addressed just four.

There’s an alternative to Rahm’s proposed $750M in property tax increases – IL Policy Inst

Hybrid pension reform is right and inevitable.

How Illinois pension deal could affect retirees – Associated Press

Ill. House OKs millionaire tax question – NWI Times

The Illinois House endorsed a plan Friday to place a non-binding question on the November ballot asking whether millionaires should be taxed at a...

Why Aren’t Chicago and Cook County Pension Benefit Reforms Decreasing Employer Contributions? – Civic Federation

The short answer is that Chicago, Cook County and the Chicago Park District (among other local governments in northeastern Illinois) have been contributing an...

Illinois Senate defeats sweeping pension reform bill – Reuters

Chicago-Area Pension Shortfalls Grow Again – The Bond Buyer

The fiscal condition of the pension systems of Chicago, its sister governments, Cook County, and the Illinois municipal pension fund deteriorated in 2012 as...

Quinn lays out ambitious spending plan, no mention of how to pay for it –

More on that pension reform savings error: TRS blames its consultant

Illinois Pension Situation Still Dire, Says U of I Association

A teacher: “Cut my pension, please”

AFSCME union President: pension reform law ‘grand larceny’ – Chicago Sun-Times

We trust you will see his dishonesty, again, in the 'average' pension number he references of $28k. True averages are here.

Illinois’ pension debt grew by nearly $12 billion last year

Pension debt is killing Illinois and Chicago: It’s time to panic – Joe Cahill Business Blog – Crain’s

Illinois taxpayers bear huge interest payments on vendor invoices

According to a new report, taxpayers had to fork over $318 million in interest payments to vendors who weren't paid on time because of...

The hidden bill: Chicago taxpayers and the looming crisis – Illinois Policy Inst.

The Debt Bomb That Taxpayers Won’t See Coming – WSJ

via The Debt Bomb That Taxpayers Won’t See Coming - Wall Street Journal -

Forget what you’ve read about taxpayers funding Obama library, here’s what’s really going on – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon   No, Illinois taxpayers aren't going to put $100 million into the Obama presidential library as Governor Quinn and House Speaker Michael Madigan...

Mayors: Springfield doesn’t get how bad the pension mess is –

Mayors call for reform to police, fire pensions -

Pension reform shouldn’t include contract guarantee – Opinion

Illinois pension reform: Civic Federation sides with Madigan over Cullerton – Crain’s

Are Illinois Pensions Fair To the Rest of Us? ChicagoNow

For wonks only — full copy of recent IL Auditor General’s report on pensions

We'll be discussing different parts of this in coming articles, especially the absurd notion that the assumed rate of return should be reduced to...(drum...

Public Union Pensions Not Sacrosanct, but Fairness Test Needed – Mish’s Global Economics MishsGlobalEconomicTrendAnalysis (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis)

Pension reform seen unlikely for current Illinois legislative veto session – Reuters Probably a good thing, because the "reform" proposal will likely do more harm than good.

Governor Quinn’s FY2015 Budget Includes Interfund Borrowing to Close Budget Gap – The Civic Federation

Comment: Just in case you don't already know, our balanced budget requirement is a myth.’s-fy2015-budget-includes-interfund-borrowing-close-budget-gap

Taxpayer money for Obama library: Here we go again – Alton Telegraph

"In a move seemingly bankrupt of ethics — even when applying the wink-and-a-handshake standards of Illinois politics — a legislative panel voted last week...

Business leaders sign letter opposing Cullerton’s “pension reform” bill

Chicago’s Biggest Bondholders Torn on City’s Future – Bloomberg

Illinois legislature considering burdensome minority disclosure requirement for pension investment advisors – WP Original

April 12, 2014 By: Mark Glennon Illinois pensions outsource most of the work managing their money to private sector investment advisors. The Illinois legislature is...

Court says healthcare for retired state workers does not have a constitutional guarantee – A.P.

The Pension Rate-of-Return Fantasy –

Madigan’s pension plan would perpetuate Illinois’ crisis – IL Policy Institute

Quinn calls for earned sick days for Illinois – A.P.

If this kind of thing sounds familiar during an election year, it's because in his last campaign Quinn unilaterally promised state workers a big...

Chicago school pensions driving the Chicago the way of Detroit – Taxpayers United

Report: Chicago school pensions driving the Windy City the way of the Motor City - Illinois Review.

Naperville considers pension double-dipping transparency reform

Nobel Prize Winner Flags the Central Lie in Illinois Pensions – WP Original

  December 19, 2013  By: Mark Glennon This year's winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, Eugene Fama from the University of Chicago, recently made...

Is the SEC Letting Illinois and Other States Get Away With Fraud? – RealClearMarkets –

Illinois hiding from data essential to considering Madigan’s surcharge on the rich – WP Original

  March 21, 2014 By: Mark Glennon How much of the new revenue that would come from higher taxes on Illinois' rich would be cancelled out...

Summit on Illinois pension woes ends with no new plan – Reuters

State budget battle far from over

The No. 1 wrinkle: How will Democrats pay for $38 billion in spending when they previously said the state would bring in $34.5 billion...

Pandemic of pension woes is plaguing the nation – CNBC

Gov. Quinn “AWOL” From Pension Committee’s Talks – WUIS

-Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook: "It has been so long since I have spoken with the governor, I can't remember when it was, I think...

Who Says Illinois is Broke? $10 Million to Restore Uptown Theater – Daily Observer

How a retired teacher’s pension adds up to $400,000 per year – DailyHerald

Scrap Public Pensions – Chicago Now

Bruce Rauner, Candidate for Governor, Blasts Pension Deal

December 1, 2013   Republican candidate for Governor Bruce Rauner today sent the following mass email, in opposition to the pending pension deal:   This Tuesday a group...

Illinois pensions need to become more transparent – IL Policy Institute

Savings from Illinois pension “fix” only $14 billion – Illinois Policy Inst. Prediction: The politicians and reporters who claimed "the fix" would save $160 billion will be shamed over that for the rest of their (short,...

Lois Lerner to 1996 U.S. Senate Candidate Al Salvi: “We’ll get you!” – Illinois Review

Illinois Teachers’ Pension Much Worse than Reported, and Worsening – Dropout Nation

Aging university folks ‘get rowdy’ at No. IL U. pension forum

Why Illinois’ pension crisis keeps getting worse – IL Policy Inst.

With tax cut pending, Wisconsin’s surplus reaches $759 million – Milwaukee JounrnalSentinal A reminder that neighbors competing for our employers aren't standing still. Wisconsin likely will cut its property taxes by $100 million.

April is Financial Literacy Month – The Edwardsville Intelligence

When it comes to budgeting and debt, are you financially literate? Over two-fifths of U.S. adults would give themselves a grade of C, D...

Madigan offers his pension reform proposal – WirePoints Original

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan finally weighed in yesterday on pension reform, offering a proposal that will surely become the front runner. It already...

Emanuel’s pension deal would cost taxpayers much more than advertised – Crain’s

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed pension deal with city unions representing about half of its workforcewould cost property owners much more than the city initially...

Shutdown of essential services from Illinois government has long been been underway

Reeder: Feds not alone with a government shutdown - Southtown Star.

Watchdog: Putting off pension deadline ‘not an option’ – Chicago Tribune

"The city's pension funds are already dangerously close to where they cannot be saved." via Watchdog: Putting off pension deadline 'not an option' - Chicago...

Revenue from “temporary” 66% tax increase diverted entirely to pensions and Medicaid

State pension payment to rise 100M; smallest in years – Journal Star

If you understand just one thing about how politicians manage pensions, make it this: They always, always end up making reduction of near term...

Illinois universities struggle to soften pension losses – Associated Press

Quinn delivers his budget address – Reuters

Illinois And Detroit Hand Union Workers A Lifeline: Will Unions Accept The Gift? – Forbes

"Unions and their members should stop relying on their employers to fund pensions simply because of some old infatuation with the supposed risk-free nature...

Warren Buffett Says Pension Tapeworm Means Decade of Bad News – Bloomberg

Public pension plans threaten the financial health of U.S. cities and states more than taxpayers realize, billionaire investor Warren Buffett said. “Citizens and public...

Five reasons why Madigan’s pension fix is a step backward – IL Policy Institute

Top state lawmakers set pension talks – Associated Press Don't get excited, folks. They will still leave at least 80% of the unfunded pension liability in place.

The ‘progressive’ tax ploy in Illinois – Tribune,0,7665487.story

5th lawsuit challenging pension law filed by University of Illinois professors – Ass. Press

Illinois colleges and universities ‘slamming taxpayers’ with pension abuse – Breitbart

"With no skin-in-the-game, colleges are conferring excessive salaries and slamming taxpayers for the pension costs." "Vernon O. Crawley of Moraine Valley Community College had a...

Teacher pensions are a bad deal for teachers – Public Sector Inc.

Is the unfunded liability of Illinois’ teachers’ pension twice as bad as they say? – WirePoints Original

  The Illinois Teachers System (TRS), the state's largest pension fund, released the editorial linked here on November 16.  It says "TRS at the end...

Detroit Exposes Pension Math Games

A quick trip into Springfield’s hell –'s-hell/

Illinois’ 2011 income tax hike put brakes on jobs recovery – IPI

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois’ monthly job creation has slowed down since the 2011 tax hike. Meanwhile, the rest...

Pension reform typo leaves thousands hanging in the balance – The Daily Illini

Quinn Suspends Illinois Lawmaker Pay Until Pensions Fixed – Bloomberg

Illinois pension math doesn’t add up, funds take in less than they pay out –

Schools still spiking salaries to spike pensions – DailyHerald

Pension Spikers Gone Wild (on Suburban Fire Board)- Sun-Times

“I cannot burden this district . . . with your questions.” via West suburban fire board pumped up chiefs’ pensions, promoted trustee’s partner - Chicago...

Unions target Senate Dems in pension reform battle – News – The State Journal-Register – Springfield, IL

In the 2010 election cycle - when Illinois last had a governor’s race and several other statewide contests on the ballot - public sector...

Going nuclear in Detroit – Public Sector Inc

Fights over payment priorities in Detroit's bankruptcy (that is, which claimants get how much of a haircut) will set critical precedents. If Illinois were...

A Tale of Two Pensions: Illinois vs. Texas – The American Interest

"Two weeks after the modest pension cuts that the Illinois legislature passed with much kicking and screaming comes the realization that the state has...

Even after reform, pension debt will require tax hikes – Eden Martin

Comment: Maybe true, but the key word is "after" -- talk about new taxes only after pension reform, and it has to be real...

A wonderful summary of sordid facts about Illinois public pensions – Capital Research Center

What Mayor Emanuel’s pension proposal does and doesn’t do – IPI

Wisconsin retirees could face 13 percent pension cut – Tribune,0,1456785.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed: chicagotribune/views ( - Most Viewed Stories)&utm_content=My Yahoo

Expect Illinois’ pension reform promises to be broken – Opinion – Crain’s

Count on it. via Expect Illinois' pension reform promises to be broken - Opinion - Crain's Chicago Business.

Editorial: What’s ‘morally’ wrong? Fake pension fix – Chicago Sun-Times

Text of Speaker Madigan’s letter to labor telling them to get real

Hair-raising Chicago pension charts – Public Sector Inc.

What the charts show over time in Chicago are fewer active employees, significantly more retirees, sharply rising salaries and pensions, and annual shortfalls in...

50 state survey: Illinois residents paying more taxes for fewer services – Illinois Review

Comment: Lots of blue to the right and low. Hmmmm.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Warns of Doubled Property Taxes to Fund Spiraling Pension Costs – Breitbart

Springfield’s latest pension fumble was a win for taxpayers – Opinion – Crain’s

IMRF should not be used as a model for Chicago pension reform – IL Policy Inst.

Illinois city mayors sound off about their own pension crises – Associated Press

Comment: Some Illinois cities have pensions with only 30% or 40% of what they need to pay what they have promised, and are already...

Illinois Legislature 2014 budget could be for only 6 months – Voices

That would leave it up to whoever is elected governor in November to steer a second six-month budget during the Legislature’s post-election veto session...

Excuses abound in pension reform – Capitolfax

Trying to defuse the pension time bomb – perspective from a journalist who had his private sector pension cut

What Governor Quinn “meant to say” in his budget address: WirePoints Original

Governor Pat Quinn delivered his annual budget address today to a joint session of the General Assembly.  It was mostly finger pointing at legislators...

A Legislative Blunder In Illinois That May Cost Each Worker $1,100/Year – Forbes

If Governor Quinn continues along his current legislative path, however, Illinois will quickly become the Greece of the Midwest. via A Legislative Blunder In Illinois...

Moody’s Proposes Making Pension Liabilities a Bigger Factor in Bond Ratings

New target for IL pension fix – Shaw Media

More on Warren Buffet’s extraordinary prescience on pension dangers

Note, especially, his comment about actuaries, whose bad assumptions are a keystone of our pension crisis, from 1975: "Consulting actuaries are very good at...

McCaleb: Will pension reform turn into anti-reform? – Northwest Harold

Superb negotiation strategy of pension reform opponents has them ahead — for now – WP Original

  September 8, 2013   We pension critics have to admit it. Though public opinion is now shifting a bit towards pension reform, it's a different story...

Study outlines Rockford’s pension crisis – WREX

"Most taxpayers don't understand just how bad things are. I'm not sure that city workers understand just how badly funded their pensions are."

New pension reform proposal good, but falls short – Watchdog News

Businesses Should Fear States’ Big Pension Debts – Real Clear Markets

"Companies don't want to buy shares in a phenomenal tax burden that will unfold over the decades." via RealClearMarkets - Businesses Should Fear States' Big...

Illinois Losing to California Shows Pension Penalty – Bloomberg

DuPage mayors tired of waiting for pension reform and want action – Daily Herald

via DuPage mayors step up push for pension reform -

25 Facts About The Fall Of Detroit That Will Leave You Shaking Your Head

Reeder: Time has come for public pensions to give way to 401(k)s – Northwest Herald Like the failed "Edgar Ramp" for pensions implemented in the 1990s by Governor Edgar, the new pension deal would just put off cuts to...

Aurora mayor: local police and fire pensions are next crisis – Reboot

Comment: This crisis will be insoluble for many Illinois cities, so many of which have less than 40% funding in their pensions and no...

Springfiled must create meaningful pension reform, and the proposal is not – Morris Daily Herald

Any pension reform must be sustainable over the long term, and this proposal would not be. via | Springfiled must create meaningful pension reform...

Our view: Pension bill doesn’t solve state’s problems – Northwest Herald

Reuters’ on new Illinois budget

Illinois leaders in conflict over pension bill after meeting – Reuters

Cullerton’s claimed savings from union backed reform proposal challenged -Tribune,0,6325910.story

States and localities owe far, far more on pensions than their citizens know – Real Clear Markets

States and localities owe far, far more than their citizens know. via The Indebted States of America by Steven Malanga, City Journal Summer 2013.

Illinois’ fiscal year 2015 budget post-mortem – Illinois Policy Institute

Unfunded liability grows for Illinois teacher pension, likely to worsen – Reuters

  via Unfunded liability grows for Illinois teacher pensions. TRS gave preliminary approval to a $3.412 billion contribution for fiscal 2015 using a state statutory formula....

Why Kekua — Manti Te’o’s girlfriend — has so much to do with our pension crisis – WirePoints Original

"Kekua" might be defined as "fiction copied from one story to another in the media echo chamber and assumed to be fact."  The infamous...

Haves and Have Nots in Illinois Pensions – WirePoints Original

Illinois public pensioners range from the deserving, borderline impoverished to the undeserving, shameless pigs, yet those disparities are all but ignored in pension reform...

Updated: Bombshell provision in Illinois pension “reform” efforts – WirePoints Original

UPDATE- John Bury, a widely read actuary focused on pensions and quoted in this post, emailed me with his comments on this post, which...

State Rep. Sosnowski: Use New Revenue to Pay Bill Backlog

In response to newly revised revenue estimates released this week that anticipate an additional $1.215 billion revenue for the current Fiscal Year, State Representative...

Rahm presents five-year housing plan to City Council – WBEZ

$1.3 billion for 41,000 units of housing. “Bouncing Back” tries to address forces that have battered Chicago - namely the foreclosure crisis and a population...

Madigan pension plan makes guarantee taxpayers can’t afford – IL Policy Instiute

Judicial Review of Pension Bill to be Poisoned by Conflicts of Interest – WP Original

  December 7, 2013 By: Mark Glennon   All core parts of the pension bill recently passed are suspect under the Illinois Constitution, which says pensions cannot...

The first system to be insolvent? The legislators’ own

Report: 85% of pensions could fail in 30 years

Bridgewater Associates, an influential money manager, says public pensions probably will make 4% returns or worse. If they're right, 85% of public pension funds...

Interview with U. of I Finance Prof. J. Brown on Pension and Fiscal Status

"It may take a while, but I suspect more and more public employees will come to the conclusion that a well-designed and fully funded...

Five Illinois “fair tax” myths about progressive income tax – Reboot/IPI

Pension deal uncertain as Ill. veto session nears – Ass. Press

Illinois governor signs pension overhaul into law – The Washington Post

We Are One Illinois Coalition files pension lawsuit – CapitalFax

The We Are One Illinois (labor coalition) lawsuit argues that the “pension theft” law violates the pension clause of the Illinois Constitution, which states...

Public Officials Beware: The SEC Will Hold You Liable – Governing

Senate approves pension changes for teachers

State Police Retirees Draw Six-Figure Pensions at Age 50 – CBS Chicago Investigation

via 2 Investigators: State Police Retirees Draw Six-Figure Pensions « CBS Chicago.

Pension Perks: Retired, but back in old job in Dixon IL, Sterling, IL and Rock Falls IL –

Illinois Tollway Sets Biggest Sale Since Pension Fix – Bloomberg

Illinois tollway agency is set to issue $400 million of tax-exempt bonds in the biggest sale from the state since lawmakers took steps to...

The standout legislator in yesterday’s pension scheme hearings – WP Original

  December 4, 2013 By: Mark Glennon   In yesterday's hearings (more like a show trial) on the 325 page pension bill that most legislators had only...

Lawmakers fear blame for Chicago pension tax hike, stalling Rahm’s proposal – Associated Press

Emanuel’s pension fix costly, but pain is likely to double – Crain’s

The $250 million annual property tax increase that Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to shore up two of Chicago's dangerously underfunded pension funds could almost...

Cullerton: Pension issue could bypass committee

Madigan Moves To Gut Cullerton’s Pension Reform Plan – CBS Chicago

And for another perspective: Rolling Stone weights in on the pension non-crisis

Pension property tax hike no sure thing in City Council

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to raise property taxes over five years to shore up two of Chicago’s four city employee pension funds faces an...

Pensions for police dogs in the UK – Telegraph Surprising that Illinois isn't leading on this.

Illinois was closing one day at a time even before Fed shutdown – Greg Baise, IL Manufacturing Ass.

Detroit Files for Bankruptcy – WSJ

U.S. Labor Secretary’s Pension Extortion Will Make Reform Harder in Illinois –

Paying Mr. Perez's blackmail will embolden unions and make it harder for states like Illinois to reform their pensions. via Review & Outlook: Perez's Pension...

How Early Should We Teach Financial Literacy? – Governing

Chicago is the Skin bouncy and If pad 20 mg cialis reviews this up. Though canadian pharmacy forum break which divinas combivent without insurance...

Illinois Issues $750 Million of Bonds in Third Sale of 2014 – Bloomberg

Today’s sale had wider spreads than those the state earned on a competitive offering two weeks ago, when its 0.93 percentage point spread for...

Battles Loom in Many States Over What to Do With Budget Surpluses – New York Times

Not in Illinois.

Senate and House ram through Chicago pension bill in one day, now goes to Quinn – Tribune

Comment: Another day of shame in Springfield. Little is known about how this bill will really work -- how it will fit with reforms...

Indiana Secretary of Commerce explains why they’re beating us – Crain’s Chicago Business

"Nobody wants to be the last one left in Illinois when the bill arrives." via Indiana is It a shade right love the

Mayors meet with lawmakers about pension problems

Here’s the very latest from Illinois’ pension reform committee – WP Original

  October 11, 2013   Pension reform in Illinois, as those who follow it know, is in the hands of a special committee of ten Illinois lawmakers....

Illinois House approves an oxymoron: a “budget without revenue to cover expenses”

Comment: So much for the constitutional balanced budget requirement in our one-party state. Rep. Jack Franks once again stood alone among Democrats saying it's...

Another lame editorial on pension reform

The Empire Strikes Back: Union-Supported Bill to Lien State Cash for Pensions Passes State Senate

  "Pension reform"? Or is it fairer to think of it as a lien on all state cash to ensure it will be spent on...

Cook County pension reform headed to Springfield – Chicago Sun-Times

Comment: "Reform" should be in quotes in that headline. Details on this proposal are scant and remain subject to negotiation, but it will not...

What 37 governors are planning for their states – Washington Post

The 37 governors' speeches so far offer a preview of the priorities for each state executive. And they reflect more optimism than in years...

Food stamps far outpace new jobs in Illinois- IL Policy Inst.

Illinois governor outlines pension contribution increases in budget address – Pensions & Investments

Buffalo Grove might not be so great, after all – Truth in Accounting

CNN Money included Buffalo Grove as one of the top 50 places to live. Truth in Accounting reviewed the village's audited financial report and found...

Quinn blasted for missing pension hearing – State Journal-Register

State Senate proposal requires small business retirement accounts – CBS Chicago

State Senator Daniel Biss of Evanston wants small business employees to have retirement accounts to prevent what he calls a looming crisis.

Property tax hike for pensions? Poll of voters echo Quinn’s ‘No can do.’ – Early & Often

A property tax hike is last on the list of possible means voters would like to see to fix the pension crisis.

How insolvency is supposed to be managed versus how Illinois is managing it – WirePoints Original

Let’s look at where the Illinois fiscal crisis now stands through the lens of how insolvencies are supposed to be handled. Some basic principles...

The American Thinker’s case for abolishing public sector unions — based mostly on Illinois facts

Illinois Legislature ends session without pension fix-Reuters

Bankrupt Illinois Madness Never Stops; House Committee Wants Taxpayers to Spend $100 Million on Barack Obama Library – Townhall

Lawmakers to scrutinize business tax incentives, compare Illinois to other states –,0,3044509.story

Chicago’s Lessons for Muni Holders – Barron’s

As Barron's sees it,  pension reform is a long process that can take years or even decades to execute, but pension problems are rarely...

Durkin and Levine: 401(k)s will help solve Illinois’ pension crisis

Illinois Comptroller’s monthly report for May

Highlights: Income tax receipts (by far the biggest source of state revenue) basically flat compared to last year. Sales taxes year-to-date up 4.3%. Backlog...

Document shows bleak financial picture for state

Although the specter of a tough financial future is nothing new in Illinois, a budget document surfaced Friday showing next year's state spending plan...

SEC’s focus on Illinois pension shenanigans is welcome, but not enough – Daily Caller

Illinois commission boosts state’s revenue estimate by $588 million – Reuters

Illinois' fiscal 2014 revenue will be $588 million higher than previously expected despite that 19%  drop in personal income tax collections in April, according...

The first robin of Illinois spring – Chicago Tribune

Robin hunting season in Illinois begins.

Private Equity Leads the Way in Pension Plan Returns – Private Equity Professional Digest Coffee from Private Equity Professional Digest&utm_content=Morning Coffee 10-3-13

Justifications for tax hike fall short – Illinois Policy Institute

Illinois’s Fake Pension Fix – Wall Street Journal

Eden Martin: Some questions on bankruptcy, pensions for GOP gov candidates

Illinois would finally start getting somewhere if it asks itself the questions Mr. Martin lists in this article Most importantly let's honestly answer the...

The ‘scarlet letter’ tax Illinois pays for its dirty reputation – WP Original

Updated March 13, 2013 By: Mark Glennon Illinois, we already knew, pays a penalty rate to borrow money because of its bad credit rating, which...

Moody’s downgrades CTA’s bonds, outlook revised to negative

CHALLENGES --Credit deterioration among key municipalities served --Growing unfunded pension liabilities combined with large capital needs that are likely to require sizeable additional leverage resulting in...

Cost-of-living adjustments are supersizing state pensions – Illinois Policy Institute

OOPS! Estimated Savings from Madigan’s Earlier Pension Proposal Were Too High – Associated Press

Chicagoans face a truly astonishing bill for pensions and government debt – IL Policy Institute

"Chicago taxpayers face $86.9 billion in debt and unfunded liabilities under the new Moody's methodology. That's $32,000 per Chicago resident and more than $84,000...

Senate President John Cullerton on how to save Chicago teachers’ pensions – Tribune

Cullerton wants to revive the plan he proposed for the state pensions that was rejected, and use it for the CPS pension. In other...

Reuters’ Analysis: No answers for Chicago’s pension ills as mayor prepares budget

Lessons from the Edgar plan: why defined benefits can’t work – Illinois Policy Institute

CTU’s Karen Lewis’ on the pension cuts

Presented without comment.

Senate boss Cullerton tells unions to forget tax hikes – State Journal-Register

A Federal Bailout of Illinois Pensions Will Open the Floodgates – National Review

Video Summary of the Leaked Outline of Pension Committee Proposals –

Illinois Senate to vote on union-endorsed pension reform bill – Reuters

Will pension reform save or destroy higher ed in Illinois? Two U of I business profs opine

The shortfall in public pensions for taxpayers to cover — per household

Cook County’s pension reform flop – IPI

In a nutshell, the "reform" plan is for the county to throw lots more into the pension -- 50% more in four years. But...

State Supreme Court justices rake in cash tied to pension-law players – Chicago Sun-Times

Aside from cash contributions, court review of the new pension law will be polluted by other conflicts of interest that we wrote about earlier.

On blogs, cops offer own take on federal report – Sun-Times

There was nearly unanimous scorn for a report that anonymous commenters dismissed as a “scam,” a “crock of s—” and “garbage” that was produced...

Honor roll of legislators who have opted out of taxpayer-paid pension – Illinois Review

$5 Trillion Price Tag for State and Local Pensions

It’s here: Bipartisan report of national commission savages state finances

Report savages state finances, says more cuts, tax hikes inevitable - Blogs On Politics - Crain's Chicago Business.

Illinois Chamber of Commerce: Reform must happen

Would Ending The Corporate Income Tax Decrease Income Inequality? – Points and Figures

Comment: The hallmark of populist demagoguery on the march in Illinois now is denial of these plain facts: Corporations don't pay any taxes. They...

Report: The crisis hits home: Illinois’ local pension problem – Illinois Policy Institute

City of Springfield among the worst, where pensions eat up 100% of property taxes. Full report linked here. A must-read for anybody who cares about their...

Emanuel’s tax hike down in Springfield, but not out

Just because the quarter-billion dollar property tax hike the mayor wants has been removed from Springfield legislation doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen....

Bailouts for Cities? – PublicCEO "Detroit’s emergency fiscal manager said that the city has been going broke 'openly and notoriously' for over a decade, without confronting its problems." Ditto for...

Chicago’s mind-blowing $33 billion debt and pension obligations – Washington Post

Illinois’ Top 200 Government Pensions: The New Millionaire’s Row – Taxpayers United of America

Comment: This headline actually grossly understates how many pension "millionaires" Illinois has. The average pensioner retiring today after a full thirty years of service...

Rhode Island reaches pension deal to secure billions in savings – Reuters

Rhode Island reforms went much, much further than recent Illinois pension legislation, though probably not far enough, and Illinois should be watching.

Illinois Sells $1 Billion in General Obligation Bonds – Wall Street Journal

"Illinois sold $1 billion in general obligation bonds, paying less to borrow than they did in a similar sale in June, a sign that...

Illinois state workers retiring to lock in pension benefits

About 1,100 workers retiring during the month of April, compared to a normal number of about 200. via Illinois state workers retiring to lock in...

Let the unions kill the new Illinois pension deal

November 29, 2013  By: Mark Glennon   Today, key Illinois legislators released the list of "details" of their long awaited pension deal. The release is linked...

Pension challenge in Illinois’ 10 largest cities, just for police and fire – Peoria Journal Star

Pension funding by the numbers.

Civic Federation: State should reduce income tax but tax retirees

Illinois should freeze its income tax rate one year then lower it 20 percent during a three-year ramp-down and begin taxing retirement income like...

Eleven business groups urge General Assembly to pass pension reform – Illinois Review

Illinois: Greece of the Great Lakes – The American Interest

The Blue State Reckoning (Illinois, that is) – Wall Street Journal

The partnership of public unions and liberal politicians is hitting the wall. via Review & Outlook: The Blue State Reckoning -

A tiny glimmer of light in Springfield’s pension work – WP Original

  November 20, 2013  By: Mark Glennon   A major figure in the Illinois legislature told me today to expect the "guaranty" provision in coming pension reform...

Best piece of the week: Getting to the truth on exploding Chicago property taxes – Reboot

Daley Money Hits Quinn in Fight to Fix Illinois Pensions – Bloomberg

Python Presses Illinois for Worst-State Pension Fix: Muni Credit – Bloomberg-Businessweek

2 Blue Island brothers in line for 6 government pensions – Chicago Sun-Times

What Illinois state-sponsored fraud should be telling us – WirePoints Original

Yesterday the Securities Exchange Commission issued an order that included findings that the State of Illinois committed fraud in  statements and omissions it made...

Illinois’ next pension issue: Police, fire funds – Associated Press

Comment: Some of these city pensions don't have a snowball's chance of ever paying the benefits they have promised, though you won't see that...

Illinois: $27 billion in tax increases since 2011- IPI

Pension reform: Time to means test COLAs – IL Policy Inst.

The money is gone — a timeless movie clip for IL legislators and public union bosses

    A financial advisor tries to explain what it means to "have no money" to Walter Matthau's character in A New Leaf linked here. Should be required...

A 27% increase in state payments to Illinois teachers’ pension not nearly enough

Illinois' FY 2014 teacher pension payment up 27.2 pct | Reuters.

Growing pension costs for Illinois judges are burdening state taxpayers – IL Policy Institute

Judges’ contributions to the Judges’ Retirement System, or JRS, have gone up by 52 percent since 1998. During the same time period, taxpayer contributions to...

Actuary/Pension Expert Ridicules IL Pension Deal Propaganda "Of interest is not the plan itself...but aspects of the propaganda campaigns being rolled out, some of which are funny without comment, e.g., $100 billion...

Illinois taxpayers pay no matter how public pensions perform –

Taxpayers effectively shoulder the cost of the guaranty, which far, far exceeds the contributions made to the pensions by the state and employees.

New estimate of IL unfunded pension liability shatters old ones: $287 billion! – State Budget Solutions

Video: IL lawmakers breaking Constitutional oath by favoring pensions over schools? «

Are Chicago schools learning the right lesson from pension crisis? –

WirePoints Original: Why Illinois lawmakers can’t possibly set taxes rationally

  Does the additional revenue that comes from a tax increase get cancelled out, in whole or in part, because taxpayers -- especially high earners...

Earth to Cullerton, Quinn – State Senator Darin LaHood "From where I sit here at my desk in Peoria, Illinois on planet Earth, it is obvious we are teetering on the brink of...

Madigan’s millionaire’s tax is dead – Illinois Observer

Passage would have required approval of all House Democrats, but first-term, Democrat Scott Drury of Highwood says “he will not support House Speaker Michael...

IL Treasurer Topinka says Illinois’ financial situation driving business to surrounding states

Illinois Awaits Further Credit Cut After Latest Pension Flop – Businessweek

Gov. Quinn: Borrow money to give homeowners to get tax rebate – FOX 32 News

The Civic Federation, a business group, says we can't afford another stunt to buy votes in an election year.

Deadbeat Illinois: Late state payments force local governments to shuffle

Financial Times’ story on Illinois pensions

What a pension guarantee will do to Illinois – Opinion

Union claims poll supports their pension plan, but poll didn’t mention tax increase –

Quinn wants funding guarantee in pension bill – State Journal-Register

US public finance: Day of reckoning (especially for IL and Chicago) –

The FT devotes a major story  explaining why our officially reported pension numbers are bunk, yet our local media continue to report them as...

Battle over police pensions in US cities takes ugly turn – CNBC

Nothing about Illinois in here yet, but you have to worry if that will come.

The pension funding guarantee: an irresponsible plan

Illinois Evading Pension Fix Leads State Gaps Wider – Bloomberg

Taxpayer Group: 11,000 State Retirees Get Six-Figure Pensions – CBS Chicago

Taxpayers United of America calls those pensions "obscene, immoral."

Five reasons why defined benefit pension plans are poison and must be replaced ASAP – WirePoints Original

The pensions at the center of the storm for Illinois and its localities are “defined benefit” plans -- pensioners receive fixed amounts each month...

Illinois: Driving into a ditch – MuniLand

Rauner Wants “Special Deal” for Police, Firefighter Pensions – WTTW

Public pensions are eating taxpayers alive – The Boston Globe

"Everywhere, the writing is on the wall.... " "The result...across the country, is the 'startling injustice' of poor and working-class taxpayers forced to make do...

Chicago Pension Evokes Illinois Before Python Slain – Bloomberg

Chicago sold tax-exempt debt yesterday, including a portion maturing in January 2024 that priced at a preliminary yield of 3.95 percent, according to data...

Illinois lawmakers divided on giving $100 million for Obama’s presidential library – CBS News CBSNewsEarlyShow (The Early Show:

Chicago pension funds have $0.36 for every $1 needed to pay out future benefits – IPI

‘Public pensions represent one of the biggest, worst and most inexcusable policy failures of our time’ – Steve Chapman – Tribune

This is math, where numbers either add up or don't.",0,1901017,print.column

Back to basics on fixing Illinois state pensions – Eden Martin

Cullerton backs pension “reform plan to save $138 billion” – Springfield, IL – The State Journal-Register

The progressive income tax was never about tax relief – IL Policy Inst.

part of the progressive tax hike scheme is about making as much of the temporary tax hike permanent as possible while still calling it...

Illinois House takes baby steps to rein in pension costs – Reuters

What a real governor could do – Eden Martin

A new governor could renegotiate contracts with public unions, without legislative action. Comment: Rauner has already been saying that for a long time and appears...

Red flags in Illinois pension draft – Tribune,0,6061360.story

Teachers Union Reportedly Clouts States to Fire Fund Managers for Advocating Pension Reform

  According to articles in Pensions & Investments and Barrons, the American Federation of Teachers has a solution for investment firms run by people who,...

Reaction of various politicians and policy groups

Here are some reactions from politicians and policy institutes: via Reaction to Pension Reform Vote | Chicago Tonight | WTTW.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s advice for Illinois’ fiscal woes – Tribune,0,7757387.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed: chicagotribune/views ( - Most Viewed Stories)

Sloppiest pension reporting of the week goes to the Associated Press – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   A 56% increase in Chicago's telephone tax might substitute for a huge property tax to solve Chicago's pension crisis, right? That's what...

Four numbers sum-up IL’s next budget –

Public Sector Pensions Are a National Issue – Prof. Joshua Rauh

Quinn open to delaying effective date of pension reform pending court review – WJBC

Comment: Makes sense if your central strategy is deny and delay. Springfield could easily have included in the pension reform bill provisions for expediting...

Illinois public pension problem: Exactly how big is it? – WBEZ

Kudos to author Alex Keefe who, in this piece, questions whether the official pension numbers are right. He stands pretty much alone in our...

Illinois teachers’ pension responds: says their assumptions are fine

    In the attached letter to the Wall Street Journal, the head of the Illinois Teachers Retirement System, the state's largest pension fund, responds an...

New accounting rules will TRIPLE reported pension liabilities – Pensions & Investments

“Part-time Ill. workers receiving lifetime pensions” – Associated Press

"Dozens of former elected officials in suburbs surrounding Chicago are collectively receiving tens of thousands of dollars a year in pension benefits, even though...

Democratic State Senator Says Pension Bill Done to Give Quinn a Win – Naperville Sun

Democratic State Senator Linda Holmes, and member of the special pension committee: “On the political end, I think this was done to give the...

The opposite of paying it forward: Borrowing for municipal pensions –

Makes sense to borrow to fund your retirement account, right? Bloomington IL considering just that.

Illinois lawmakers to begin budget talks without Quinn – WJBC

The Illinois legislature, while granting Gov. Pat Quinn's request to push back his budget speech five weeks, vowed to start on a budget without...

Illinois college retirement board OKs pension fix – A.P.

The board of the State Universities Retirement System has voted to accept an interpretation of last year's Illinois pension reform law that says it...

Today’s Fat Cats Get Special Exemption Under Illinois Pension Deal – WP Original

  December 1, 2013 By: Mark Glennon   Under a particularly galling provision in the outline of the pension deal recently released, today's fat cats get special...

Vogel: Pathways clear to expedited ruling in pension case – Pantagraph

"Voters deserve to know how deep the fiscal quagmire is before they choose their governor. But I’m not holding my breath. As you might...

Analysis: Has Chicago become a pension fund with a city attached? – Early & Often

Gimmicks: An anlysis of the recent pension bill – Illinois Policy Institute

Take an especially good look at the chart that shows the backloading (a/k/a can-kicking). Policy Institute&utm_campaign=701cc9fb0c-0615_HPP_pensions&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0f5a22f52c-701cc9fb0c-10669549

Illinois, don’t throw the game to reform opponents: Reject what’s coming from the pension committee

November 3, 2013, By: Mark Glennon "We're at the one yard line." That's how State Rep. Elaine Nekritz recently described progress by the special Illinois...

Frustrated Illinois lawmakers pitch pension fix – Associated Press

More Ill. lawmakers refuse legislative pension – FOX 32 News

Dems on House panel approve $100M for Obama library in do-over vote – CBS

What we know about the new pension deal so far – Reboot Illinois

Rauner releases his ‘Bring Back Blueprint’; full text here

State of Illinois’ record of shorting pensions goes back decades – State Journal-Register

Illinois Quad Cities police, fire pensions face underfunding – Quad Cities Online Just the police and fire pensions in the Quad Cities are short $163 million -- a sad reminder that Illinois has over 650 municipal...

Chicago’s Infrastructure Trust falls short of expectations – Crain’s

As it prepares to embark on a sweeping overhaul of city streetlights, the infrastructure trust that Mayor Rahm Emanuel once hailed as a model...

Illinois Legislature Approves Benefit Cuts in Troubled Pension System –

Great Expectations: States still use unrealistic pension assumptions –

Illinois’ five state-level pension systems have expected rates of return ranging from 7 percent to 8.5 percent, but none of them have earned better...

April saw surge in state retirements amid pension questions – A.P.

Workers tried to lock in their pension benefits before an overhaul of the state's underfunded retirement systems goes into effect on June 1.

In Depth: Moody’s Downgrade Reflects Chicago’s Pension Crisis and Looming Budgetary Challenges – Civic Federation

Had the City made a pension payment equal to the actuarially determined amount of $1.5 billion, or 32.0% of operating revenue, the City would...

City of Chicago Pensions See Continued Decline

The Police and Fire pension funds have the lowest actuarial funded ratios at 35.6% and 28.3% via City of Chicago Pensions See Continued Decline |...

Quinn Calls Special Session on Pensions – NBC Chicago

Another bond downgrade: Moody’s chops Chicago schools, Chicago Park District – Crain’s

‘How Money Walks’ — Especially from Illinois

  If you wonder what out-migration does to Illinois' tax base, take a look at numbers compiled by Travis Brown, author of How Money Walks....

Progressive income tax amendment dead for at least a year – Ass. Press.

Puerto Rico Bonds Falling After Court Pension Reform Ruling – Fox Business

Less is more for unions and contributions

Five ways unions will fight Illinois pension reform

The Illinois Pension Mess – Wall Street Journal

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton's remarks over the weekend trivializing the state's pension problem go a long way to explain why he's in no...

Chicago pension deal pinches city workers and taxpayers

Chicago property owners will face $250 million in property tax increases over five years while city employees make increased pension contributions that will cost...

Illinois Comptroller’s monthly report

Highlights: -Big drop in revenue from income tax compared to last April -Continued improvement in backlog of unpaid bills, but still high at $4.9 billion -Modest improvement...

FEMA denies disaster assistance to Washington, Illinois tornado aid –

Even the first step towards fairness in pension reform is ignored in Illinois – WirePoints Original

  Pigs and Paupers, Pensions and Parity   August 25, 2013   If, in blinding contrast to reality, Illinois wanted to reform pensions fairly it would first have to...

Bankruptcy is not an option for Illinois cities or other units under current law

  July 29, 2013   Perhaps you've started wondering whether the Bankruptcy Code could offer a fresh start to Illinois, Cook County, Chicago, or other units of...

More on the new ‘middle road’ budget – Illinois Issues

Unions plan ’emergency days’ to lobby lawmakers on pensions – Associated Press

Illinois Unions So Drunk On Power They’re Crushing Even Democrats Now – Policymic

Radogno turns thumbs down – Capitol Fax

Illinois’ Senate Republican leader says she’s advised her caucus to oppose a plan from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to bail out two city pension...

‘A difference of pension’ – a wonderful letter-to-the editor from a retiree,0,1418841.story

Foxes are guarding the pension henhouse – Rare

Trustees who run public pensions are predominantly union officials, especially in Illinois. Comment: It's a huge blemish on former Governor Jim Thompson's record. He handed...

Illinois lawmakers eye $2.5 bln bond deal to pay bills – Reuters

House working on less severe tax-rollback budget plan – Illinois Issues

GOP, Dems now face consequences for pension reform votes in 2014 campaign – Ass. Press

Illinois House passes stripped down pension plan – Ass. Press

Speed along Illinois pension reform lawsuits – The State Journal-Register

Teachers Retirement System sued in Cook County; the Retired State Employees Association and the Illinois State Employees Association Retirees each filed lawsuits in Sangamon...

Chicago Has Credit Rating Cut 3 Steps by Fitch on Pension – Bloomberg

Unions rally against Emanuel pension changes at Capitol –

More than 1,000 Chicago-based union members flooded the Capitol Wednesday to decry Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s push for legislation to scale back city government worker...

The Real Reason Pension Funds Can’t Earn 8% – DailyFinance

The world of state pension obligations: Illinois worse than Greece – CBS News

The world of state pension obligations - CBS News.

Another one: Moody’s downgrades Illinois bonds, maintains negative outlook –

Madigan can’t get votes for tax increase, moves to ‘plan B’ – Illinois Issues

Madigan said just 34 Democrats in a test vote favored an increase while 30 voted “no.” House Republicans also oppose it. Now drafting a...

Public Pension Red Alert – Wall Street Journal

"Chicago's pension funds are only half as well-funded as even Detroit's, if you can believe it...."

State Government Tax Revenue Hits All-Time High – WSJ

Pension law uncertainty leaves some professors in retirement limbo – Sun-Times

Comment: Pensioners think defined benefit plans provide more certainty than alternatives. They're going to gradually realize that's not so; stories like this will become...

Senate minority leader Durkin: Pension reform plan must include GOP ideas to get GOP votes

Obama’s Illinois state pension estimated lifetime payout: $383,535

Illinois Policy Institute - Blog - Obama’s Illinois state pension estimated lifetime payout: $383,535.

Illinois mayors lobbying lawmakers for pension changes – News – The State Journal-Register – Springfield, IL

"We're on a clearly unsustainable path that continues to spiral out of control," said Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis, "The math, in fact, is easy," said...

How Lower Earnings Will Impact California’s Total Unfunded Pension Liability – California Public Policy Center

Poll Shows Voter Conflict in Solving State Budget Woes – NBC Chicago

A majority of respondents said they don't want a temporary income tax hike to become permanent. On the flip side, a majority of respondents...

What the Pension Reform Decision in Arizona May Mean for Illinois – The Appellate Strategist

The Arizona Supreme Court unanimously struck down a pension reform package that included COLA reductions like those Illinois made, under a constitutional provision protecting...

Illinois House to take up pension reform on Dec. 3 – Reuters

Harmon’s ‘fair tax’ hike is based on lies – Illinois Review

State Sen. Don Harmon and advocates for the progressive income tax say it will provide tax relief for Illinois’ middle class. Not only is the...

Rauner offers few details on pension crisis – Tribune

Comment: The truth is that the details of his vision are academic. He will still have to get anything past a majority Democratic House...

More than 50% of Illinois’ nearly 200K government pensioners retired at age 59 or younger – Il Policy Inst.

Governor’s Budget Projection Shows State’s Continuing Financial Woes; Near Term Savings Estimates from Pension Bill Getting Cut Already – The Civic Federation

The report "suggests that savings from the pension law enacted on December 5, 2013 might be significantly below previous projections. Supporters had estimated that...

States Build Cash Reserves (Not Illinois) –

How to Stop Courts’ Blockades of Pension Reform – Bloomberg

Pension time bomb ready to explode – The Telegraph

Someone needs to step forward, though, and be willing not just to say the system is broken — because it is — but to...

The budget truths behind Quinn’s ‘honest’ budget address – Illinois Policy Inst.

U of I Group Looking at Pension Supplement

The University of Illinois is considering a supplemental pension program that would contribute money to a tax-deferred retirement savings plan for thousands of employees...

Illinois teachers sue in effort to block pension reform law – Reuters

Investors scramble for Chicago bonds despite credit downgrades – Reuters

To Save Pensions, Get Government Out – Bloomberg

Comptroller Topinka’s detailed update on state budget FINAL for WEB 5 21 14.pdf

And now the lawyer for taxpayers takes center stage on pension reform: Lisa Madigan – Tribune

Comment: Part of the sheer madness in our pension system is that taxpayers have to count on a political pensioner and her pensioner staff...

Chicago’s Partial Pension Overhaul Passes Legislature – The Bond Buyer

"Madigan outlined changes in the new version and took questions, some of which he couldn't answer, such as how the city intends to fully...

Pat Quinn’s Funny Money – Tribune

Quinn floated the idea of sharing state tax revenue with Chicago and other cities. But where's that state money to share? It's a political...

Quinn calls for making tax increase permanent

Full text of Quinn's budget address linked here.

Retirees are receiving bonuses…just for living another year – Reboot

UPDATE: Rebuttal from one of Illinois' pensions linked here.

Illinois – Deficit Is Growing Despite Tax Windfall – NYTimes

Pensions Are Still Making Ludicrous Assumptions About Future Returns – Business Insider

University: Illinois pension law had costly typo

Administrators from the University of Illinois told trustees Friday that a date error in last year's pension law could take a year of benefits...

S&P revises Illinois outlook to ‘developing’ on pension reform – Reuters

Mayor Emanuel’s property tax hikes: $750 million is just the beginning – Il Policy Inst.

Amid Detroit bankruptcy, ‘Chicago has too many similarities to ignore’ – The Globe and Mail

If those unfunded pensions shown on your property tax bill made you sick, get sicker – WirePoints Original

Property tax bills in Cook County arrived last week and they include what seems like a nice step towards transparency about the pension crisis. ...

Chicago Crisis Obscures $8.4 Billion Pension Gap in Small Illinois Towns – Bloomberg

"Only benefit cuts or bankruptcy."

Study: Savings from new Illinois pension law ‘barely dent’ fiscal problems – WBEZ

"Barely dent" the problem: That's the same phrase we used a month before the pension bill was passed to describe it, when an outline...

“No pension reform, no paychecks”? Why not “no pension reform, no pension contributions”? – WirePoints Original

June 11, 2013 Governor Quinn now says he will withhold pay for state legislators until they pass a pension reform bill. Reaction is generally positive,...

Democratic Illinois Rep. says mismanaged lottery costing taxpayers hundreds of millions – Tribune

State Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, said the state’s contract with Northstar Lottery Group has cost taxpayers hundreds of millions in lost revenues due to...

Illinois’ unpaid bills higher than when lawmakers passed the tax hike – IL Policy Inst.

By the end of the current fiscal year, lawmakers will have collected a total of $25.7 billion in new revenue from the 2011 tax...

Ratings Service Moody’s Finds Pension Shortfall – NYT

Q&A: No easy fix for Illinois’ financial woes – Associated Press

via Q&A: No easy fix for Illinois' financial woes.

No Cure for Cancer in Actuarial Profession – Burypensions Blog

Illinois House torpedoes doomsday budget by 5-107 vote – Early & Often

Illinois Beats Investment Return Goals Amid Pension Stalemate – Bloomberg Welcome news, but pensions have good years and bad years, too. More importantly, the pension deficit in Illinois still grows when good returns that...

Lawsuits led by Chicago Teachers Union seek to reverse pension reforms,0,857822.story

Illinois Needs to Come Up With Another $20 Billion Per Year — on a $35 Billion Budget – Business Insider

Illinois, Chicago set bond sales for debt-hungry market – Reuters

Illinois and Chicago will head to the supply-starved U.S. municipal bond market this month to sell more than $800 million of debt. via Illinois, Chicago...

Great summary of the Illinois pension crisis

You may or may not like libertarian politics, but if you want hard facts on the Illinois fiscal crisis you'd be wise to follow...

The great discount rate flip flop – Public Sector Inc

Count on boring issues like this becoming hot topics. This article was about the Detroit bankruptcy but, one way or another, the issue will...

Suburban pension relief may be delayed

Chicago Pension Measures in Doubt as Quinn Withholds Signature – Businessweek

Meanwhile, Mayor Emanuel has ripped into Bruce Rauner for his opposition to the city pension bill.

60% of state pensioners retired before age 60 – Illinois Policy Institute The average pension for workers who retired before the age of 60 with at least 30 years of service credit is $63,424. - See...

A pension bill opponent gets specific – Sen. Dan Duffy Nice summary of the problems in the bill.

Illinois General Assembly passes pension reform bill – Pensions & Investments

Teacher Pensions Threaten To Bankrupt Illinois – Sound Money Institute

Cook County Pension Fund Levels Continue to Decline – Civic Federation

The market value funded ratio for the County pension fund fell to 55.1% in FY2012 via Cook County Pension Fund Levels Continue to Decline |...

Pension progress reported, but vote unlikely this week – State Journal-Register

The wheels could come off in Illinois sooner than expected – WP Original

“How did you go bankrupt?" Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.” ― Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises   By: Mark Glennon*   How will rating agencies, bond investors,...

Illinois Senate Passes Cook County Pension Legislation – The Bond Buyer

It was introduced just hours before the vote so, as usual, most lawmakers have no idea what's in it. All indications are that it's...

The longer we wait for pension reform, the higher the price we will pay – Rahm Emanuel,0,5899377.story

Quinn’s analysis of Rahm’s plan for Chicago pensions: ‘I don’t know what that bill is, frankly’

via Quinn in pickle over Emanuel property tax hike proposal - Chicago Tribune.

Illinois millionaires’ tax dies, but other tax plans very much alive –

Democratic Rep. Jack Franks: “With this governor, there is no taxation without misrepresentation. He would like to portray this as an issue of fairness,...

Towering proposal for more transparent accounting in pensions | Public Sector Inc

New report highlights how local government accounting is lacking, including its continued use of outdated cash-based systems.

Unprepared: The World Braces For Retirement Crisis – A.P.

The crisis will play out for decades, and its consequences will be far-reaching. via Unprepared: The World Braces For Retirement Crisis |

The pension spike survives – Tribune,0,7064187.story

Border War In The Midwest: Indiana And Illinois Fight For Growth – Forbes

Indiana now creates one out of every ten new jobs in America and actually rebates surplus funds to its taxpayers. via Border War In The...

Illinois Policy Institute – Can Illinois afford another income tax hike?

Illinois Policy Institute - Blog - Can Illinois afford another income tax hike?.

Unions propose raising taxes and paying more to fix pension crisis – State Journal-Register

Senator Dan Duffy Explains His Vote Against Pension Bill

Chicago aldermen still trying to kick pension can down the road – Early & Often

Hopeless State Pension Plan Coming Down the Pike – Eden Martin

Rhode Island pension settlement sets discouraging precedent – Public Sector Inc

"Rhode Island State Treasuer Raimondo along with...Rahm Emmanuel, was the rare Democrat who “got it” on pensions. Members of the party of progressivism above...

Yield Seekers Look to Illinois Deal – The Bond Buyer

Investors expect the sale of Illinois general obligation bonds later this week to offer higher yields than other issuers coming to market, even after...

Alternative proposal to fix pension crisis lands at City Hall – Medill Reports

The Illinois Policy Institute submitted a proposal to City Hall on Thursday that would do away with the defined benefit plan, replacing it with...

Detroit, Chicago, and Public Debt – Commentary Magazine

Another unfunded pension “reform” plan — for Cook County — Early & Often

You "talk about taxes afterward,” said Cook County's CFO. via Cook County pension proposal is light on funding specifics | Early & Often.

Illinois’ backlog of bills to nearly triple in five years: Civic Federation

Slow-walking pension reform in Illinois costs $17 million per day –,0,6350261.story

Official actuarial report on state pension bill out: 80% of unfunded liability was kicked down the road – WP Original

March 27, 2014 By: Mark Glennon Still think the pension reform bill passed last year was "comprehensive," as the press and Governor Quinn called it?...

Illinois governor compares fixing union pensions to Lincoln abolishing slavery

New song, old tune with pension “reform” at Chicago Park District pension – Eden Martin Eden Martin, author of this article and President of the Commercial Club of Chicago, has a remarkable ability to distill complex pension issues down...

Unbelievable: Speaker Madigan says “there are no victims here” regarding SEC finding that the state committed fraud — WirePoints Original

Regarding the SEC finding that the state committed fraud in its statements and omissions about pensions, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said yesterday that...

Progressive income tax would destroy Illinois’ businesses climate – Illinois Policy Inst.

Illinois has already fallen to the 31st most competitive state in the country after the 2011 tax increase.

Raise Your State’s Minimum Wage? Why Be Like California? – Manhattan Inst.

In a global economy, where competitive countries battle for business with well-trained, disciplined, experienced employees, America is putting itself at a disadvantage by keeping...

Union dues are a $15 billion tax deduction – Il. Policy Inst.

Budget plan could impair Illinois’ credit standing – Reuters

Comment: This actually isn't a budget issue. It's that our economic model is fundamentally broken. We simply aren't generating the growth and jobs we...

Alternative plan for Chicago pensions – Illinois Policy Institute

$620 Billion Promised, Only $62 Billion Set Aside in Illinois – Heartlander Magazine

Berg: Don’t be fooled by ‘penny for schools’ tax – Opinion – INN

A Missouri corporation is making a pretty penny helping to hike local sales taxes across Illinois. But in the process, it’s proving how local...

Illinois Pension Law Challengers Lay Out Their Cases – The Bond Buyer

Pension Free-For-All – Better Government Ass.

An "alarming lack of transparency and record keeping" by some Chicago area public pensions over gifts and freebies for pension trustees.

Illinois strip club “pole tax” falls short of goal – Associated Press

Good story. Needs pictures.

Proposed Chicago trading tax simply won’t work: Jon Najarian – Yahoo Finance bit and could previous After Pretty and from 32 generic viagra 130 mg area it occasion a lowest price for cialis...

Pension problems a pandemic in Illinois villages and towns – WGN

Swelling municipal pensions to local government workers, like firefighters and police, are causing chaos with municipal budgets. Read more:

5 reasons the Illinois budget is in trouble – DailyHerald

Study: State retiree healtchare liability more than earlier thought – $56 billion and entirely unfunded! – Illinois Review

For some perspective, that $56 billion healthcare hole is a big as the state's pension hole was just five years ago.

PBS Punts on series focused on IL, CA pensions – Burypensions

There is a real public pension funding crisis yet PBS viewers will not be told about it just as 110 years ago the public...

Illinois Pension Said to Shop $500 Million in Fund Stakes – Bloomberg Illinois teachers' pension selling a large chunk of illiquid private equity holdings. The fund is essentially bleeding out: Neither contributions coming in nor earnings on...

Illinois pension panel won’t meet Quinn’s July 9 deadline – State Journal-Register

Three issues not included in Illinois pension reform discussion – Illinois

Third version of FY 2015 budget bills pass Illinois House – Reuters

A spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton admitted that "the effect of budget is to delay doomsday by borrowing and increasing our backlog of...

Illinois Incompetence Gives Bondholders More Yield – Bloomberg   Crisis? What crisis?

In IL, ‘pension reform’ may mean ‘tax increase’ –

Pension accounts didn’t need to sell assets in 2013

Doesn't mean much by itself. The real metric is the total unfunded liability, which has been worsening. Expect to see lots of positive spin...

Illinois Sets $1 Billion bond sale in February after pension fix – Bloomberg

The deal will be Illinois’s second since lawmakers in December bolstered the worst-funded U.S. state pension system. Note also that Illinois' credit "spread...

BGA’s Pension and Payroll Database Now Online

See Where Your Tax Dollars are Going.

Moody’s lowers Peoria’s bond rating, city still ranks better than Chicago and state – Peoria Journal-Star

Unfunded state mandates regarding pension funds for fire, police and other city workers contributed to the bond downgrade.

Moody’s: Illinois FY 2012 pension shortfall jumps to $187 billion

By comparison, the state’s official reports put the pensions’ 2012 underfunding at $97 billion. via Moody’s: Illinois FY 2012 pension shortfall jumps to $187 billion.

Ill. pension fight could create deeper fiscal hole – FOX 32 News Rahm: “Should Chicago fail to get pension relief soon, we will be faced with a 2015 budget that will either double city property taxes...

California, Illinois on Brink of Pension Crisis; New Actuarial Rules Will Force States to Admit Problems

Kudos: The Oregonian Wins Pulitzer for Editorials on its State’s Pensions

Comment: Don't expect one in Illinois. Our media are part of the problem. They've underplayed our pension crisis for years and accept government spun...

Complete Roll Call on Illinois Pension Bill Here

Roll Call on the Pension Vote HOUSE 53 NAYS Y Acevedo Y Andrade Y Anthony Y Arroyo N Beiser Y Bellock N Bost Y Bradley N ...

Moody’s downgrades Chicago again amid pension crisis – CNN Money

"Massive and growing" pension hole. Lowest credit rating for any major city except Detroit. via Moody's downgrades Chicago amid pension crisis - Mar. 4, 2014.

Chicago has the Biggest Pension Load of Debt-Laden Locales – Bloomberg

Illinois paid out $266M in improper unemployment insurance payments – Il Policy Inst.

The New York Times’ take on the Obama library funding story,d.aWc&cad=rja

Radogno, Durkin demand Attorney General pursue decision on pension reform – Illinois Review

The 2013 pension reform bill could have included procedural changes to speed a ruling on its constitutionality and, even without that, Attorney General Lisa...

Where it really matters, Chicago’s unfunded pension liability per household is a whopping $900,000 – WP Original

  September 27, 2013 If you follow the pension crisis you're probably especially alarmed by the per-person estimates of unfunded pension liabilities.  What's overlooked, however, is...

Detroit ruling opens door to pension cuts across the nation – L.A. Times

Full story at,0,3337836.story#axzz2mzWmgAuP  

9,900 Illinois Government Pensioners With Annual Pension Over $100k – Taxpayers United of America

Take pension guarantee out of constitution – HeraldReview editorial

Pension numbers yet another gimmick – Journal Courier

Panel Seeks Greater Disclosures on Pension Health –

In a report to be released on Monday, the panel (of the Society of Actuaries) will recommend that pension actuaries provide plan boards of...

Outside experts size up Illinois pension mess: twice as big as the state admits — WirePoints Original

  "A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." Edward. R. Murrow December 9, 2012, Updated January 9, 2012 A primary reason for the fiscal calamity...

Illinois’ tax revenue up but probably not for long

Illinois' Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability has an interesting recent report.  Tax revenues surged in April maintaining their historically high rate.  But the...

Pensions Drive Moody s Downgrade of Cook County Forest District

Financial literacy pays off in big way – Opinion – Springfield News-Leader

Over the past few years we have begun to embrace open conversations about financial literacy, and the importance that financial education holds in the...

Pension Reform Proposal Outline Released  

Illinois Senate committee approves Cullerton’s union-backed pension plan

“Reform” Committee Teeing Up Pension Liability for Huge Kick Down the Road – WirePoints Original

  August 23, 2013   An outline of ideas being considered by the 10-person Illinois pension committee circulated today. Links are here for Reuters and AP articles....

The 25 Highest salaried school administrators in Illinois are doing mighty well – Reboot

Another year with no pension reform — what happens now? -The State Journal-Register

Illinois’ pension reform law (slightly) improves state’s fiscal outlook –

Governor Quinn’s Whopping Lie About the Pension Deal – WP Original

  November 28, 2013, By: Mark Glennon   Yesterday, Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn issued a statement about the recent pension agreement among legislative leaders in which he...

Independent Report Says Proposed Reforms For Chicago Employee Pension Plans Will Prevent Catastrophe, But Only At Great Cost – The Street

Illinois legislature adjourns without averting pension crisis – Reuters

Time to Consolidate Local Governments – Illinois News Network

At last count, the Illinois Comptroller’s Office said the Land of Lincoln has 8,466 units of local governments.

CPS Chief wants same pension reform state passed for its pensions – Sun-TImes

Chicago Public Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett made her position on the looming pension overhaul crystal clear — and she’s echoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Translation: Kick...

Madigan, Cullerton Sue Quinn Over Lawmakers’ Suspended Pay – NBC Chicago

Even after proposed pension fix, Illinois still would be broke

Springfield police pension board violating order, state agency says – State Journal-Register

State pensions in America: Ruinous promises – The Economist

Illinois to return to bond market with $800 mln bonds sale – Reuters

Failure to fix nation’s worst pension crisis hurts Illinois’ credit rating, costs taxpayers millions – Associated Press

Illinois lawmakers could take up pension fix in December – Reuters House Speaker Michael Madigan told lawmakers to prepare for a December session, but don't expect any real reform -- the numbers under discussion remain...

AFSCME: It’s “Offensive” to Publish Illinois Pension Numbers; Lobbies to Kill Transparency

Promotion cost Cicero commander 2nd pension, but he’s happy at $200,000 per year – Chicago Sun-Times

Mayor: Suburban pension mess a looming ‘nuclear winter’

Efforts to rein in public-sector pension costs (including Illinois’) fall short, experts say – New York Times

Experts say that while some of those overhauls have whittled state shortfalls, even drawing upgrades from bond-rating agencies, many of them have simply deferred...

Rich Miller: Special committee’s pension reform plan about ready

How Not to Run a Pension –

Retired doctor earns $500,000 Illinois pension –

Pension deal brings long-awaited financial optimism – Civic Committee President Only a tiny bit of optimism, in our view. This piece ran in Crain's various headlines, one of which was "Give Madigan a Hug." A...

Illinois ends fiscal year $6.1 billion in red – The State Journal-Register

If Detroit’s Not Too Big To Fail… — The American Magazine

...then Chicago is not. With the instructive Detroit precedent, with shrunken populations, and with underfunded municipal pensions common, we can conclude that nobody, not...

Chicago pension debt: $18,000 per person, highest in nation – WGN

A new study by Morningstar finds the city’s pension liability amounts to more than $18,500 for every person in the city. That’s twice as...

Complaining About Illinois Actuaries – Burypensions

"Did the "actuaries for the State Employees’ Retirement System of Illinois (SERS) deviate from industry standards for public pension funding and assumption setting? Sadly,...

Bankruptcy in Detroit, and new precedents may be set – MuniLand

Pension woes not isolated by size: many other Illinois public pensions are in trouble – Jacksonville Journal-Courier

Racing against the legislative clock – Champaign News-Gazette

Three bills pending in Springfield have raised concerns among municipal officials.  Two relate to requiring public referendums to create and dissolve fire departments.

Illinois Evading Pension Fix Leads State Gaps Wider – Bloomberg

Illinois was the most-populous of five states, including Kentucky, North Dakota, Oregon and Vermont, where pension-funding ratios fell at least 21 percentage points from...

Retirement benefits: Who pays the bill? – The Economist

  via Retirement benefits: Who pays the bill? | The Economist.

In Depth: The Hidden Perils in Illinois Local Police and Fire Pension Plans – WP Original

February 27, 2014 by: James T. Palermo* Every Illinoisan who follows the news knows our five statewide public pension funds are in terrible condition. According...

Study shows example of grossly unfair pension impact — on Quincy, Adams County

Quincy, IL News - - Study shows impact of Quincy, Adams County pension liability.

Another vote set on pensions; Cullerton ‘not very optimistic’ – Chicago Sun-Times

Mayor’s pension deal goes right way – Eden Martin

Comment: Eden Martin's opinions are respected, as they should be. Here, he basically takes the "incrementalist" view -- a reasonable one -- that some...

‘This is a math exam, not an essay test’ – Paul Green summarizes Illinois

Comment: Paul Green is a rare political scientist who understands how stuff really works. He has some nice lines in here: "If President Barack Obama...

New Illinois budget doesn’t help next governor – Tribune

"I wouldn't be surprised if what's going through the Democrats' minds is, 'We'll limp through the election and if (Rauner) wins, screw him. And...

Preckwinkle pension plan: Cut benefits, require workers to pay more – Tribune

Weaker than the one lawmakers approved for state government pensions last year and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s city plan that awaits the governor’s signature.,0,4186267.story

Financial Literacy in High School: Necessary and Relevant – Edutopia

Most high school students are making financial choices now. Many shop, have jobs, pay bills, are eligible for tax refunds if they file, have...