Civic Federation Blog

04.16.14

Illinois General Assembly Passes Pension Reforms for Chicago

On April 8, 2014, the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate approved Senate Bill 1922, which contains reforms and funding increases intended to stabilize the financial condition of two of the City of Chicago’s four pension funds. The bill awaits Governor Quinn’s review. This blog...

04.10.14

Illinois Supreme Court Recommends Pretrial Services Reform in Cook County

A recent report by the Illinois Supreme Court raises significant concerns about Cook County’s pretrial services. The Cook County Pretrial Services Department (PSD) was established in 1990 to address a host of concerns, not the least of which was overcrowding. While inmate crowding at the Cook...

04.03.14

Chicago Proposes Pension Funding Reform for Municipal and Labor Funds

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled a proposal to stabilize the City’s underfunded Municipal and Laborers pension funds on March 31. The 40-year plan includes successive property tax increases to provide additional pension funding coupled with employee benefit reductions. His proposal does...

03.26.14

Cook County Forest Preserve District’s New Conservation Plan Faces Challenges

In 2013 President Preckwinkle formed a blue-ribbon commission of local leaders to develop the Next Century Conservation Plan to help provide vision and guidance to the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) for the next 25 years.  In January 2014, the commission presented the plan to...

03.18.14

Joint Civic Federation - Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Conference to Feature Keynote Address by Detroit CFO John Hill

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Board of Directors of the Civic Federation are pleased to announce a conference on how municipalities in Illinois can avoid or resolve fiscal stress. The half-day conference will take place on Wednesday, April 23rd in the Conference Center at the Federal...

03.12.14

Civic Federation Participates in Two National Public Pension Reports

Last month, an independent Blue Ribbon Panel convened by the Society of Actuaries released its report with recommendations to improve the financial health of public pension plans. Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, was a member of the panel, along with actuaries, economists, former...

03.06.14

Moody's Downgrade Reflects Chicago's Pension Crisis and Looming Budgetary Challenges

Four weeks ago, the Civic Federation blogged about the Chicago City Council granting the City authority to issue general obligation (GO) bonds for the payment of various capital projects and legal judgments, as well as refunding and restructuring debt. As part of that plan, the City is expected to...

02.28.14

Chicago Public Schools’ Finances Remain Precarious

This week, Chicago Public Schools released its FY2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013. In it, the District reports a year-end FY2013 deficit of $119 million that was closed using fund balance. This is smaller than the $273 million deficit that was anticipated...

02.20.14

City of Chicago to get more Revenue from Amusement Tax in FY2014

As noted in many media reports and in the Civic Federation’s analysis of the City of Chicago’s FY2014 budget, the City balanced its budget in part with a number of targeted revenue enhancements. One of these revenue enhancements was a reduction in the cap on the partial exemption of the...

02.11.14

Civic Federation Celebrates 120 Years

“Your existence, your words and deeds, have reawakened the slumbering civic life. You have created a civic center where the sympathy and desire of those who love the city we live in may be safely facilitated. You have given hope and confidence to thousands who have become pessimists on...