USA Today had an article Friday on state governments’ pension problems. Here’s what the article said about Illinois:
In Illinois, which has the lowest credit rating in the U.S. and was most recently downgraded for failing to properly fulfill pension obligations, its $187 billion pension liability represents 318% of its revenues despite a range of overhauls, according to Moody’s. Connecticut’s $57 billion liability is at 243%, and Kentucky’s $41 billion liability is 211% relative to revenues, according to the service.
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I was thinking about House Speaker Mike Madigan’s culpability for this problem.
As a Con-Con delegate in 1972, he voted for the section that embolden teacher union officials to ask that money governor’s had earmarked for pension payments be diverted to State Aid to Education.
This money was used to raise teacher salaries, which meant a second ‘hit” on the pension system, because it raised the amount to be paid out.
Madigan and a vast majority of legislators also voted to raise pension benefits since he was elected state representative in 1972.
Hey, no problem, right?
That clause in the State Constitution would save the day.