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Big Pension News? Only in Illinois

Watch a brief video rundown of recent action in Springfield that could have an impact on your tax bill and money for local schools.

What's happening in Springfield now regarding the state pension crisis will have a long-term impact on your tax bills and the money the state government can afford to send to local schools. 

Teachers and bus drivers in the suburbs are getting layoff notices and schools are closing in the city of Chicago as the governor projects a cut of $300 million from the state education budget. This week, the Illinois House passed a bill that would trim cost-of-living payments for public retirees. The House previously passed a bill that raises the state employee retirement age incrementally. It's unlikely those measures will pass the Senate, leaving the pension crisis unresolved.

Our friends at Reboot Illinois, a non-partisan news and advocacy website, this week launched "Only in Illinois," a weekly video recap and analysis of key financial issues plaguing the state. The program is hosted by Reboot's chief operating officer, Madeleine Doubek, and executive editor Matt Dietrich.

Want more perspective? IllinoisWatchdog.org suggests the next election will further delay pension reform.

If you have feedback for Reboot Illinois, visit RebootIllinois.com and comment. This post is published throughout the Chicago-area Patch network, and comments are moderated.

Rudi P March 23, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Support the democrats the helped this along.
Mr. Reality March 23, 2013 at 10:13 PM
No politiian should get a pension
David May 03, 2013 at 09:40 PM
considerate worker - check your information. I believe each retire system invests their own contributions - ie. TRS chooses their own investments. And yes, tax payers are responsible for covering any shortfall due to bad/underperforming investments.
David May 03, 2013 at 09:43 PM
Jan S. It is not just district 200. Every teacher contract I've ever seen in Illinois has automatic 6% raises for the 4 years before retirement. This is the maximum allowed under the law - although some districts (like Schaumburg) have exceeded this. They actually had to create a law to limit this pension spiking because some districts were giving even larger raises to spike retirement benefits. This would be one advantage of sticking local districts with paying for pensions - they would feel the long term sting of every raise they give when they are paying for that raise for the next 30-60 years.
David May 03, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Mr.Reality - I don't think any public worker should get a pension. Let them have SS and defined contribution plans, and the state can match the first 3% like private companies do.

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