Senate President John Cullerton en Moody's criticizing new state budget <div>The credit rating agency Moody's is criticizing the Illinois state budget passed last week. As IPR's Brian Mackey reports, this is not a surprise to government officials.</div><div><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Moody's says because Illinois did not extend higher income tax rates, it could have to rely on what it calls "credit negative" practices.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Illinois already has the lowest credit rating of any state in the country. Moody's isn't lowering it further, at least not for now.</span></p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 11:22:28 +0000 Brian Mackey 24364 at Moody's criticizing new state budget Will lawmakers approve legislation making the higher income tax rate permanent? <div>Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield Monday to begin the final two weeks of the spring legislative session. As IPR'S Brian Mackey reports, the big question remains whether Democratic leaders can convince enough rank-and-file lawmakers to make a higher income tax rate permanent.</div><div><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Although </span>Gov<span style="line-height: 1.5;">. Pat Quinn, Senate President John </span>Cullerton<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, and House Speaker Michael Madigan all support making the temporary 5-percent income tax rate permanent, Madigan in particular has had a hard time getting fellow House Democrats to go along.</span></p> Mon, 19 May 2014 12:11:08 +0000 Brian Mackey 23520 at Will lawmakers approve legislation making the higher income tax rate permanent? Gov. Quinn says pension shortfall is a crisis <div>Governor Pat Quinn is disputing a fellow top Democrat's statements that Illinois' nearly 100-billion-dollar pension shortfall is not a crisis.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Senate President John </span>Cullerton<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> has said that the pension shortfall is not an imminent crisis, but finding a solution can keep the state's income taxes down.</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><p> Wed, 23 Oct 2013 11:44:09 +0000 Brian Mackey 13811 at Gov. Quinn says pension shortfall is a crisis Political scientist says Gov. needs a win on pension reform <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Illinois Governor Pat Quinn “Desperately needs a win” on pension reform. That’s the conclusion of political scientist Kent Redfield. The U of I Springfield professor spoke ahead of next week’s special session on pensions, which Quinn ordered. Redfield says the Governor repeatedly blamed pension costs for the state's budget problems. If no agreement is reached, Redfield says, Quinn will look weak going into next year’s primary election:</span></p><p> Tue, 11 Jun 2013 11:56:42 +0000 Denise Molina & Dan Klefstad 7126 at Political scientist says Gov. needs a win on pension reform Senate votes down pension measure <p></p><div>It's the final day of the legislative session, and the foremost issue that has plagued lawmakers all year remains unresolved. There's a chance yesterday's actions may have deepened a divide between the House and Senate over what to do about the state's massive pension debt. IPR’S Amanda Vinicky explains.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Gov. Pat Quinn is asking the state senate to reconsider its vote, after the chamber quashed a pension measure that would cut state employees' and teachers' retirement benefits. Quinn says the Senate's action lets down the people of Illinois, whom he says are paying $17 million every day the current pension system stays in place.&nbsp;</span></div><div> Fri, 31 May 2013 12:17:56 +0000 Denise Molina & Amanda Vinicky 6537 at Senate votes down pension measure Pension talks to continue today <p></p><div>A solution for dealing with Illinois' 100 billion dollars of pension debt continues to elude legislators, even as the spring session rapidly approaches its end. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn Friday. IPR’S Amanda Vinicky reports.</div><div><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Lawmakers have taken votes to deal with the pension debt. Problem is the House passed a plan that Speaker Mike Madigan says will save more money. And the Senate passed a different plan that his fellow Democrat, President John </span>Cullerton<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, says is better because it's more likely to be upheld by the courts.</span></div><div> Thu, 30 May 2013 12:12:32 +0000 Denise Molina & Amanda Vinicky 6471 at Pension talks to continue today Analysis: little savings in union-backed pension overhaul proposal <p></p><div>A state pension overhaul backed by government employee unions may save only half of what advocates had promised. &nbsp;That underscores an ongoing battle between the House and Senate over pensions, with only ten days left in the legislative session. &nbsp;IPR'S Amanda Vinicky reports.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There's general agreement on this much: that Illinois' public pension systems have $100 billion dollars in unfunded liabilities. &nbsp;That's a fancy word that *basically* means "debt."&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It's a big number that's getting Illinois in trouble with bond houses and eating into the state's budget.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">And the House and Senate have different plans on how to drive that number down.</span></p><div> Wed, 22 May 2013 12:03:09 +0000 Denise Molina & Amanda Vinicky 6002 at Analysis: little savings in union-backed pension overhaul proposal