Ralph Martire, director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, said the latest downgrade to junk bond status will cost the city an additional $200 million to $300 million, on top of its existing budget deficit and employee pension fund shortfalls.
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.
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.
Mayoral challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia said Mayor Rahm Emanuel needs to answer tough questions about how he plans to handle the city’s financial woes.
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.
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.
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.
Aldermen have approved a plan to hike the city’s monthly 911 surcharge on phone bills by 56 percent to help shore up the city’s pension funds, and avoid a property tax hike before next year’s elections.
Labor leaders were planning to go to court to block legislation cutting pension benefits and raising the retirement ages for many city workers, and opening the door for a property tax hike to help pay the city’s share of employee pension costs.
It’s deadline day for Gov. Pat Quinn. He has until midnight to decide how to act on legislation to overhaul some of Chicago’s underfunded employee pension systems.
A plan to overhaul some of Chicago’s underfunded employee pension systems could spell a long weekend for Gov. Pat Quinn, who has until Monday to decide what to do with the legislation on his desk.
Gov. Pat Quinn’s offer to give cities a bigger cut of income tax revenues to help with pension debts without raising property taxes met with a lukewarm reception from the Emanuel administration.
Municipalities statewide have pushed for legislative help for underfunded pensions. Mayors say costs have risen, pension obligations are crowding out spending for other services and raising property taxes may be the answer. Quinn’s against raising property taxes.
The legislation sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan overcame earlier resistance after the Chicago Democrat removed language mentioning the tax increase. Opponents feared they’d be blamed for a Chicago tax increase.
A fast-tracked plan to overhaul two Chicago city-pension programs slowed in the Illinois House Thursday, as nervous lawmakers said they fear backlash for a massive property-tax increase even if they don’t directly approve it.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to reform two underfunded employee pension systems quickly took its first step toward approval in the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday.
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 lawsuit, which follows others already filed by retirees, argues the pension bill approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Pat Quinn more than a month ago violates a clause of the state constitution that says pension benefits may not be cut.