Illinois school administrators say they cannot afford to pay teachers' pension costs as part of Gov. Bruce Rauner's plan to balance the state budget.

City of Peoria

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis once again used his annual State of the City Address to implore the state legislature to develop a plan for pension reform. The state sets the pension benefit levels the fire and police retirees receive, but the city is responsible for paying those benefits. The mayor told the audience that in the next two years, the city will have to use all its property tax collections to pay just the pension liability.


Jeanne / YouTube

The state representative challenging Governor Bruce Rauner in next year’s Republican primary is proposing several changes to Illinois’ pension systems.

Jeanne Ives of Wheaton is calling for three things. First, she want to amend the Illinois Constitution to eliminate protections for government pensions. Second, she wants to enroll all new state workers in a 401(k)-style plan. And finally, she wants to renegotiate pensions as part of an “honest conversation” with both current employees and retirees about the state pension system.

The Chicago City Council has overwhelmingly approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel's budget for 2018.

The University of Illinois has a new budget for 2018, and the spending plan holds the line on student tuition.

The House has approved legislation to revamp the workers' compensation system and pension programs and to make it easier for superfluous units of local government to be consolidated or eliminated.

Illinois Billions of Dollars Deeper in Debt

May 31, 2017

Two years with no budget have left the state of Illinois billions of dollars deeper in debt than when the budget impasse started. The state comptroller’s office says that when the fiscal year ends, the state’s stack of unpaid bills will be $11.6 billion higher. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he'll meet with legislative leaders to negotiate a budget deal, and he's willing to include money he vetoed for Chicago Public Schools if it's part of a "comprehensive package."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel used his annual budget speech to laud the cash-strapped city for being "back on solid ground."  Emanuel told members of the Chicago City Council that the 2017 budget he's proposing is free of a pension crisis and insolvency threatening city employee retirements. 

Chicago's mayor and police and fire unions are pleased with Illinois Senate action to re-approve legislation for a five-year savings plan on pension contributions. 

Illinois workers get an added bonus once they retire: They don't have to pay taxes on pension or Social Security checks. It's one possible change the state could look to as it hunts for more money.

Illinois is a rare state that taxes income on a regular paycheck, but not on retirement.

Fiscal experts like the non-partisan Civic Federation say as Illinois' population ages, and there are more seniors, the government will increasingly lose out on a source of revenue.

An Illinois state senator is urging the state to strip Dennis Hastert of the taxpayer-funded pension he receives from when he was state legislator. 

The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday struck down another attempt to control the cost of government pension benefits.

This time it was Chicago city employees and retirees whose pensions were being targeted. The retirement system for one set of workers is projected to be insolvent in about a decade.

In 2014, the Illinois General Assembly changed the rules, but in Thursday's 5-0 ruling, the Supreme Court found that unconstitutional.

Illinois Public Radio’s Brian Mackey spoke with his colleague Amanda Vinicky about the decision.

The Illinois Supreme Court Thursday said the state does not have to pay unionized employees what it says in their contracts, unless legislators specifically appropriate the money.

OZinOH / Flickr/Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers want to hold additional hearings to discuss how to proceed with a pair of similar bills aiming to deal with the state's pension debt.

The state House Personnel and Pensions Committee held its first meeting Monday on the two proposals. Members of the committee said more hearings needed to be held so their questions could be answered.

U.S. Treasury hears pension concerns from Teamsters

Jan 15, 2016
Bernie Anderson

About 200 Teamsters turned out in Peoria to tell U-S Treasury Officials to rule against Central States Pension Plan’s request to reduce their benefit payments.

Central States is the first to make the request under the controversial Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014. The law reportedly passed by adding it to an omnibus bill. The Central States Pension Plan represents about 400,000 current and future retirees, mostly teamsters in 13 states.

Illinois' State Superintendent of Schools says it wasn’t his decision to skip a legislative hearing this week.  Members of Illinois' House Government Administration Committee hoped to grill Superintendent Tony Smith about expensive perks he gets on top of his $225,000 salary. 

Lawmakers are considering a plan to overhaul Cook County's pension system that could trim some worker benefits despite an Illinois Supreme Court ruling striking down a statewide pension overhaul.

New ways to tackle Illinois' underfunded pension systems could be emerging.  The governor appears to be backing away from his plan. 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he wants to change the Illinois constitution.  That’s in light of today’s Supreme Court decision striking down the state’s pension law.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he wants to pursue his pension proposal ... regardless of what the Illinois Supreme Court decides about the current law.

A four-month nationwide search has led to the appointment of the State Universities Retirement System. 

A new state law will make it tougher for felons to receive a public pension. Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation this week giving Illinois' attorney general more power to stop pension payments to convicted felons.

Attorneys for retired Illinois state employees paying increased health insurance premiums have asked a Sangamon County judge to order the money be returned.

Illinois state lawmakers are advancing a bill that would make it harder for public officials to collect retirement benefits after they’re convicted of a felony.

City Council to talk big-spending issues next year

Nov 18, 2014

The City of Peoria is considering a budget that largely maintains the status-quo for 2015.  Peoria Public Radio’s Alex Rusciano reports major issues will be left for future budgets:

Pensions in focus for Peoria City budget process

Nov 17, 2014

The City of Peoria needs to pay more money into its pension fund for firefighters next year.  That's the message from the city fire pension board:

Illinois is getting 84-million dollars from Citigroup. It’s part of a 7-billion-dollar settlement the bank made with the federal government over its role in the 2008 financial crisis.

IL Supreme Court rules in favor of Burge's pension

Jul 3, 2014

  The Illinois Supreme Court says former Commander Jon Burge can keep receiving almost 4 thousand dollars a month from the Chicago police pension fund. 

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed a bill that reduces the retirement benefits of some City of Chicago employees. But the governor’s signature comes with some advice for Chicago’s mayor. IPR's  Tony Arnold explains.

Quinn signed the controversial pension bill in private.  But he released a statement saying he was quote - “dismayed by the ill-advised attempt” to have lawmakers impose a tax increase on Chicago residents.