Higher taxes will again prove futile in resolving state fiscal crisis

The League of Women Voters in a recent op-ed demanded passage of the proposed increase in Illinois income taxes by over $5B annually; broadening the sales tax to include services; the LWV conventioneers didn’t agree with freezing local property taxes but were in favor of levying a state income tax on senior’s retirement income. The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago also envisions raising individual and corporate tax rates and extending the individual income tax to retirement income, just as Illinois Senate President Cullerton,...

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Teacher pensions will soon exceed education funding

In a previous post, the Illinois Teacher’s Retirement System (TRS) was shown to be a lucrative pension compared to private pensions. A new report shows that Illinois spending on this pension for downstate and surburan schools will soon exceed state aid for those schools. Excerpt: Escalating teacher retirement expenditures are siphoning away state money before it makes its way to Illinois classrooms. Without pension reform, teacher retirement spending will dominate the share of dollars available for state education funding, and...

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Public pensions lucrative compared to private pensions

A Wall Street Journal article, “Why Public Pensions Are So Rich,” uses the Illinois Teacher’s Retirement System (TRS) as its example of generous “defined benefit” plans that guarantee benefits regardless of how the plan’s investments perform versus the “defined contribution” 401K-type plan of most private sector workers, which does not guarantee a specific pension benefit. TRS officials state that since Illinois teachers do not participate in Social Security, then the average teacher’s...

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College Illinois! prepaid tuition – risky investments or Illinois Ponzi scheme?

All new investments for the College Illinois! prepaid tuition program have been suspended by the state agency running the program due to an increasing scrutiny concerning risky investments of the money that people have invested for their children’s future college tuition. In a previous post , it was shown how the State University Retirement System was making risky investments to make up for losses in the market and underfunding by the state at 43%. Now, the Illinois Student Assisstance Commission (ISAC) is confronting mounting questions...

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REA political contributions and spouse is a teacher – conflict of interest?

The largest benefactor of this year’s political contributions from the Rockford Education Association’s (REA) Political Action Committee for Education, RPACE, was Laura J. Powers, the winner of the RSD205 board of education election in Subdistrict G. Since the district was to have obtained $11.6M in concessions from the REA in contract negotiations to balance the 2012 shortfall in the budget, contributions of this size by a party to those negotiations raises questions as to a potential conflict of interest. The RPACE contributions...

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