HB2375 makes Illinois 67% income tax increase permanent

Illinois temporarily raised its income tax from 3 to 5 percent in 2011 and has put nearly all of our new tax dollars into its failing pension system. Next year the state will spend almost as much on its five pension systems as it does on education. HB2375 was introduced February 20th in the General Assembly in Springfield by Representative Lou Lang, D-Skokie, to make that income tax increase permanent. The tax was scheduled to be reduced in 2015. Workers would be required to pay 3% more of their salaries toward their pensions and their...

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Moody’s downgrades Illinois’ credit rating to worst in U.S.

Illinois’ credit took another turn for the worst last Thursday, when Moody’s Investment Services downgraded the state’s credit rating from stable to negative outlook. Illinois’ credit rating is now behind every state in the country, including California! The primary reason for the downgrade was the lack of pension reform to reduce some of the $96B outstanding liability of its pension system. At current benefit rates, the pension system will one day absorb most of the spending in the state unless something is done. It...

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Quinn wants federal government pension bailout guarantee

Illinois is one of the public union states that will one day need a federal bailout because of their pension shortfalls. Governor Quinn has now made that official by pointing out in his budget proposal that, “significant long-term improvements” in that debt will come from “seeking a federal guarantee of the debt.” Excerpt: Now that Chicago’s children have returned to not learning in school, we can all move on to the next crisis in Illinois public finance: unfunded public pensions. Readers who live in the other 49...

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State pension problems being solved on taxpayer’s backs

Even the Democrats in Springfield are seeing that there is little hope for an easy solution to the over $80B pension shortfall, considering the pension calculations are based on a return on investment that is greater than any currently available. Unions can shout all they want, according to Scott Reeder of the Illinois Policy Institute, in his guest column in the Rockford Register Star, but the unions are partially responsible and played a role in creation of the deficit by agreeing to increases that couldn’t possibly be paid for...

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Illinois needs Governor Walker to fix some of its problems

Illinois needs Governor Walker’s assistance regarding public employee benefits and collective bargaining and to help straighten out the fiscal mess like he did in Wisconsin. Many teachers in the state don’t pay anything toward their pension but can retire in their mid-fifties with annuities equal to 50 – 60% of their final pay, plus a 3% compounded cost of living increase each year. Excerpt: The (Illinois) state’s pension bill, which has quadrupled in five years, consumes all $7 billion of additional revenue from last...

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