Mayor Rahm Emanuel said officials at City Hall are working on what they can do to shore up the city’s underfunded public employee pension funds, after an Illinois Supreme Court ruling overturned the state’s pension overhaul.
The decree puts new Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the General Assembly back at the starting line in trying to figure out how to wrestle down a $111 billion deficit in what’s necessary to cover its state employee retirement obligations.
At a City Hall press conference, City Clerk Susana Mendoza and three aldermen who back the mayor rolled out a couple of hand trucks of budget books and audits they claim mayoral challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia could use to craft his budget plans.
Saying the city is teetering on a financial cliff, mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia on Friday outlined the first specifics of his budget plans, though he remained vague on key details.
Illinois Supreme Court justices asked the state’s lawyer to explain Wednesday how the government can seek extraordinary power to reduce public pension benefits in the face of a fiscal crisis when the government itself is culpable for the financial mess.
The Republican’s first State of the State address, scheduled for noon Wednesday before the General Assembly in Springfield, comes as some state agencies and programs already are running out of money this year and with Illinois facing an even greater budget gap next year.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his challengers addressed the city’s budget and crippling pension debt in their second formal debate on Friday, and the mayor left the door open just a tiny bit on a possible property tax hike.
Current and retired city workers and their labor unions have filed a lawsuit arguing a law overhauling Chicago’s pension systems is unconstitutional. The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court also asks a judge to stop the law from taking effect Jan. 1.
The case involves the pension fix lawmakers and Gov. Pat Quinn adopted last year. The law cut retirement benefits and made other changes to help fill a $111 billion deficit in five state pensions systems caused by years of state underfunding.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she expects the state’s highest court could take up the state’s landmark pension overhaul plan by the end of January, now that a lower court judge has ruled it unconstitutional.
Sangamon County Circuit Judge John Belz ruled Friday in favor of state employees and retirees who sued to block the state’s landmark pension overhaul. The state is expected to appeal the ruling directly to the Illinois Supreme Court.
Police and fire departments across suburban Cook County might be in line for some budget cuts, as huge pension problems loom, according to a report from a government watchdog.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he has lined up enough City Council support to increase the monthly surcharge added to phone bills in Chicago, as part of the effort to address the city’s pension crisis.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel essentially told Gov. Pat Quinn on Thursday, “I scratched your back, now you scratch mine,” when it comes to pension reform, amid signs the governor might veto or significantly alter legislation to reform two city pension funds.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed raising property taxes by $250 million over five years as part of a pension reform plan that also would require city workers to pay more toward their pensions.
Chicago public employees and retirees have been descending on Springfield on Wednesday for a rally to protest the state’s new pension reform law.
The Illinois Legislature approved a historic plan Tuesday to eliminate the state’s $100 billion pension shortfall, a vote that proponents described as critical to repairing the state’s deeply troubled finances but that faces the immediate threat of a legal challenge from labor unions.
Illinois’ legislative leaders briefed other lawmakers Friday on details of a breakthrough agreement for solving the state’s $100 billion pension crisis, leaving them four days to study the plan before facing a vote that could be crucial for the state’s financial condition and their own re-election plans.
After more than five months of work, Illinois’ legislative leaders announced Wednesday they’ve reached a deal to help solve the state’s $100 billion pension problem, considered the nation’s worst.
Gov. Pat Quinn says he’s not discouraged that lawmakers came away from two days of their fall veto session without tackling any of the major issues on their agenda.