The Illinois pension crisis is by no means a small one, and it has a direct impact on you, the taxpayer.
In December, the Illinois House and Senate passed a controversial 327-page reform bill strongly opposed by some state labor organizations, but in July, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled health insurance premiums are a protected retirement benefit.
Haven’t been paying attention to the issue? Here’s why you should:
1. The nonpartisan Truth in Accounting’s State Data Lab reports the state has a total of $175.7 billion in unpaid pension and state debts it can’t pay. If that had to be paid today, every Illinois taxpayer would have to fork over $43.400.
2. We have the worst-funded pension system in the nation, and as a result, bad credit. In fact, Standard & Poor’s recenty lowered its outlook on the state’s general obligation bonds to negative. The continual downgrade has been an ongoing issue.
3. Several mayors in the state say there is a severe imbalance between employee and town/taxpayer contributions.
4. Even if you are not collecting a pension, your paycheck may still feel the pain.