Ralph Martire

Part of the pension mess that’s emerged in the past two decades stems from state laws that made it easier for the city to underfund its pension systems.
The governor’s 2025 budget has good ideas for raising revenue, but his fixes to help Illinois’ underfunded pensions fall short, budget analyst Ralph Martire writes.
Some people believe everyone has equal opportunities, regardless of race. But the list of inequitable systemic polices singling out Blacks is long, a government finance expert writes.
If folks want Illinois and Chicago to invest in core public services to build a decent quality of life for everyone, they must support elected officials willing to raise tax revenue to get the job done, a fiscal expert argues.
The mayor and his team filled the 2024 deficit with one-time fixes. Odds are that next year will start with a budget shortfall similar to this year’s, and the available tax fixes are all regressive.
The five state pension systems collectively have a staggering unfunded liability of $139 billion, and Chicago’s unfunded liability of $35.4 billion.
Illinois, for instance, has over-relied on local property taxes to fund K-12 education, effectively tying educational quality to local property wealth that is markedly lower in segregated Black communities.
if Illinois wants to get the best student achievement bang for its taxpayer buck, it should stop subsidizing the choice to send children to a private school.
Chicago’s fiscal challenges can’t be solved with smoke and mirrors