March 1, 2015

Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Sun-Times
March 1, 2015

This editorial discusses the significant financial challenges the City of Chicago is facing related to unfunded pension liabilities and debt levels. The editorial cites Civic Federation research and discusses recent reforms to the City’s Municipal and Laborers’ pension funds, saying the City’s Police and Fire pension funds will likely require similar reforms.

February 27, 2015

Reuters

Reuters
February 27, 2015

This article discusses the February 27 downgrade of the City of Chicago’s credit to Baa2 by Moody’s Investors Service. The downgrade could trigger the termination of four interest-rate swap contracts. The Civic Federation said the downgrade is an unfortunate wake-up call for anyone unaware of the fiscal cliff the City is facing.

February 27, 2015

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune
February 27, 2015

This article covers the credit downgrade issued for the City of Chicago by Moody’s Investors Service on February 27. The Civic Federation said decades of underfunding the pension systems has led to the City’s current financial challenges, and it is difficult to see how the City could continue to meet its required pension contributions without new revenues or reductions in City services.

February 27, 2015 - 4:54pm


February 27, 2015

Alongside his first operating budget proposed for the State of Illinois, Governor Bruce Rauner also recommended a capital budget for FY2016 that proposes shifting previously vetoed spending authority to pay for delayed maintenance at State owned facilities across the state.


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February 28, 2015

The Economist

The Economist
February 28, 2015

This article discusses the budget Governor Rauner proposed earlier in February, which closes a $6.2 billion budget gap through program reductions and a pension reform proposal. The piece cites recommendations from the Civic Federation’s FY2016 State of Illinois Budget Roadmap, including broadening the tax base to include some retirement income and select services.

February 25, 2015 - 2:56pm


February 25, 2015

Two lawsuits seeking to overturn a pension reform law for the Chicago Municipal and Laborers’ funds have been put on hold pending the outcome of State pension litigation at the Illinois Supreme Court. Oral arguments for the State pension case have been scheduled for March 11, 2015.


We welcome any questions and feedback about the content of this blog. Please e-mail blog@civicfed.org with your query.

February 23, 2015

NBC Chicago

NBC Chicago
February 23, 2015

This segment investigates the costs associated with an abandoned CTA “superstation,” a plan for non-stop airport train service left unfinished underneath Block 37 in the Chicago Loop. The Civic Federation said the expensive, unfinished superstation is a prime example of a project that failed due to inadequate planning and lack of public discussion.

February 20, 2015 - 12:42pm


February 20, 2015

In his first budget proposal for the State of Illinois, Governor Bruce Rauner recommended more than $4 billion in spending cuts and $2.2 billion in estimated pension savings to close a projected budget gap of over $6 billion in fiscal year 2016.


We welcome any questions and feedback about the content of this blog. Please e-mail blog@civicfed.org with your query.

February 19, 2015

The Economist

The Economist
February 19, 2015

This article discusses Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s first term in office and expected upcoming challenges for Chicago, including a $550 million increase in the City’s required pension payment next year. The Civic Federation said Mayor Emanuel has made strides in improving the City’s financial condition, but without pension reform Chicago’s finances remain precarious.

February 19, 2015 - 3:50pm


February 19, 2015

The Chicago Public Schools audited financial statements for fiscal year 2014 released last week indicate the deterioration of the District’s fiscal condition continued through the end of FY2014. The District’s most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) reports ending FY2014 with an operating funds deficit of $513 million, which it closed using fund balance. This deficit was smaller than the $642 million budget gap that was anticipated when the District released its FY2015 budget, but over four times the size of the FY2013 year-end deficit of $120 million. Additionally, fund balance levels declined for the second year in a row, falling from 18.5% in FY2012 to 6.5% in FY2014.


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