June 26, 2014 - 4:43pm


June 26, 2014

UPDATE: In addition to the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), two other large State of Illinois pension funds have also lowered their assumed rates of return on investment.

Both the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) and the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) recently reduced their assumed investment rates of return from 7.75% to 7.25%. SURS took the action on June 13, 2014, according to a spokeswoman for the retirement system, while documents show that SERS made the decision on April 8, 2014.


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

June 26, 2014 - 10:18am


June 26, 2014

Last week Cook County Clerk David Orr announced upcoming changes to property tax bills that will allow residential and business taxpayers with properties located inside tax increment financing (TIF) districts to see how much of their payments are going to TIF funds.


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

June 19, 2014 - 11:52am


June 19, 2014

Under Illinois law, the State is required to share a certain portion of state income tax receipts with municipal and county governments in Illinois through the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF).  The state revenue shared with local governments is a legislatively required transfer from the General Fund to the Local Government Distributive Fund.


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

June 19, 2014 - 10:10am


June 19, 2014

The City of Chicago currently has the lowest rated credit of any major city in the country according to Moody’s Investors Service.  At Baa1, the long-term bond rating is still several levels above falling out of investment grade, but the City is at risk of having to pay large liabilities if it is downgraded again.


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

June 18, 2014

Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Sun-Times
June 18, 2014

This article discusses interest rate swaps made by Chicago that require the City to maintain a credit rating of at least Baa1, or financial institutions can terminate deals and demand payment. Chicago’s credit rating sits at Baa1 after a series of downgrades in the past year. The Civic Federation said the swaps were entered into at a time when it seemed unlikely the City’s credit rating could fall so low.

June 14, 2014

Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Sun-Times
June 14, 2014

This article discusses the relationship between property taxes, politics and Chicago’s drastic unfunded pension liabilities. Governor Quinn vowed to veto an early version of a pension reform bill for two of Chicago’s pension funds that mandated property tax increases, but has since signed a revised version that removed the provision. The Civic Federation said it is unclear how Chicago could restore adequate funding to its pension system without additional property tax revenues being one part of a multifaceted solution.

June 1, 2014

Fox Chicago

Fox Chicago
June 1, 2014

In this clip Civic Federation President Laurence Msall discusses the FY2015 Budget passed by Illinois legislators May 30. The budget does not provide funding for a full fiscal year, and relies on borrowing and shifting revenue from FY2014 to cover operations expenses. The State’s backlog of unpaid bills, which has dropped to $5.4 billion from $8.8 billion in FY2012, is expected to increase under this budget.

June 14, 2014

The Economist

The Economist
June 14, 2014

This article discusses Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s approach to tackling the many challenges facing the City of Chicago since he took office in 2011. It discusses the City’s worst-in-the-nation unfunded pension funding crisis, which the Civic Federation said can only be adequately addressed by a carefully considered combination of benefit reductions and funding increases.

June 13, 2014 - 11:51am


June 13, 2014

Although Governor Pat Quinn originally proposed a capital budget for FY2015 with no new debt-funded projects, the General Assembly approved an additional measure that added $1.1 billion in new road projects that will be funded through the sale of long-term capital bonds.


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

June 11, 2014 - 3:07pm


June 11, 2014

Cook County is a home rule government with three primary responsibilities: collecting tax and fee revenue, protecting public health through the administration of a public health and hospital system and ensuring public safety and justice through the operation of a jail and court system.  The main divisions of the public safety system in Cook County include the Chief Judge, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Public Defender, Sheriff, State’s Attorney, Public Administrator, Department of Facilities Management and Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.  In terms of full-time equivalent positions (FTEs), the Sheriff’s Office and the Chief Judge employ the majority of Cook County public safety employees with 6,769.6 FTEs and 3,075.6 FTEs respectively in FY201


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

Syndicate content