From State Senator Don DeWitte:
Illinois unfunded pension liability balloons to $317 billion
This week Moody’s Investors Service announced that Illinois’ unfunded pension liabilities grew by 19% last year and now stand at a staggering $317 billion.
Just one year ago the liability stood at $261 billion.
Today’s annual pension payments represent a full 25% of the state’s budget, and the Illinois combined pension liabilities are the highest of any state in the nation.
Shortly after taking my seat in the Senate, I formally declined to participate in the General Assembly Retirement System.
In addition to rejecting my own pension, this year I am championing two bills that would go far in helping to stabilize these unsustainable pension systems:
- SB 2525: Amends the General Assembly and Judges Articles of the Illinois Pension Code by closing those pension systems to new participants.
- SB 2526: Amends the General Assembly, State Employees, State Universities, Downstate Teachers, and Judges Articles of the Illinois Pension Code by requiring each system to prepare and implement a defined contribution plan by July 1, 2023.
As the business community continues to struggle from financial losses tied to the health pandemic, I am also sponsoring legislation this year that would give these job creators a reprieve from the minimum wage hike that is currently being phased in across the state.
The initial restaurant and business shut-downs and subsequent capacity limits caused by the COVID-19 response caused many of our business owners to shut their doors for good, and those who remain are hanging on by a thread.
Despite sustaining record losses in 2020, our job creators were greeted in 2021 with a mandated $1 per hour hike to the wage they had to pay their lower-income workers.
My new legislation (SB 2268) would push back the ramp for implementation of the minimum wage increase by one full year.
Learn more about this legislation here.