“Budget gridlock isn’t why Illinois’ higher-education system is facing financial troubles. The truth is that more than 50 percent of Illinois’ $4.1 billion budget for state universities is spent on retirement costs – making it easy to understand why there’s not money out there for much else.”

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Mike
4 years ago

There’s even more to the story. Years 2003 – 2007 featured two funding games to state (TRS, SURS, SERS, GARS, JRS) pensions during which time Rod Blagojevich was Governor, Michael Madigan was House Speaker, and Emil Jones Jr was Senate President (the latter two were co-chairs of Governor Blagojevich’s re-election campaign in 2006). Game 1, use pension obligation bonds to fund part of 2003 and all of 2004. Game 2, substantially short 2006 & 2007 contributions. The 2006 & 2007 state contributions were lowered by Senate Bill 27 (SB 27) which was signed into Public Act 94-0004 (PA 94-0004)on June… Read more »

XOF2
4 years ago
Reply to  Mike

The pension holiday of 2006 and 2007 –Which really was just the elimination of the extra payment created by edgar and his ramp, –Still paid $$$ into sers surs snd TRS pensions — prepaid the extra payments of 2006 and 2007 by borrowing $10 billion in 2004, and putting billions into surs. — pension holiday was the idea of union bosses,, Pension holiday passed because of support of union bosses “Unfortunately the truth is that the unions were aware of the pension holiday and fully supported the pension holiday. Let’s look at the actually witness slips filed by four of… Read more »

Mike
4 years ago
Reply to  Mike

To recap the above comment: The Edgar / Philip / Madigan Ramp was a short of a short. Meaning, the state pension contributions in each year of the 15 year (1996 – 2010) pension contribution ramp funding scheme in PA 88-0593, were legislative shorts of actuarial payments to the 5 state pension funds (TRS, SURS, SERS, JRS, GARS). The 2006 & 2007 legislative state pension contribution funding scheme in Public Act 94-0004 further shorted the already shorted state pension contributions to the 5 state pension funds. The IEA, IFT, and SEIU filed witness slips to support the short of the… Read more »

Mike
4 years ago
Reply to  Mike

2004 is an exception to the short. The 2004 SURS state contribution was $1.067B over the actuarial required contribution (ARC). The funds for the over contribution were obtained from the 2003 pension obligation bond issue. How many years of shorted contributions would the $1.067B over contribution cover? Less than 3 succeeding years, as the 2005 short ($322.4M), 2006 short ($482M), & 2007 short ($444.8M) totaled $1.249B. Less than 7 preceding years, as the 2003 short ($312.2M), 2002 short ($179.2M), 2001 short ($79.4M), 2000 short ($84.2M), 1999 short ($58.3M), 1998 short ($62.6M), 1997 short ($250.6M), & 1996 short ($442.7) totaled $1.469B.… Read more »

Mike
4 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Correction.
The Edgar / Philip / Madigan ramp (PA 88-0593 signed in 1994) was the short.
The Blagojevich / Jones / Madigan short (PA 94-0004 signed in 2005) was the short of the short.

XOF2
4 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Look at the chart in the attached link https://www.illinoispolicy.org/reports/illinois-taxpayers-bear-the-brunt-of-rising-pension-costs/ It shows that taxpayers have paid much more into pension funds then the workers And The chart shows the huge prepayment of $10 billion to pension funds More then offsets the tiny “pension holiday” of 2006 and 2007. To blame pension holiday as the reason surs TRS or sers are unfunded is disengenious But , unions don’t tell the truth Pension funds are unfunded because retirees take so much money out of pension funds…. , Retiring too soon with too large a pension , compared to what the workers contribute to… Read more »