July 25, 2014 - 10:52am


July 25, 2014

Less than a month into the new fiscal year, which began on July 1, Standard and Poor’s announced that the financial outlook for the State has deteriorated from “developing” to “negative.” The rating agency directly blamed the FY2015 budget approved by the Governor and General Assembly for the change in perspective.


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July 23, 2014

Crain's Chicago Business

Crain's Chicago Business
July 23, 2014

This column discusses the Civic Federation’s analysis of the FY2015 Chicago Public Schools budget. The Civic Federation could not support the budget because it does nothing to address the District’s fiscal crisis and is balanced only by an accounting maneuver that books more than 12 months of revenue into a single fiscal year.

July 23, 2014

Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Sun-Times
July 23, 2014

This article looks at the Chicago Public Schools FY2015 budget in advance of the Board of Education’s July 23 budget hearing. It discusses the Civic Federation’s analysis of the budget, which says the use of one-time and non-recurring revenues indicates the District is not addressing its structural deficit.

July 23, 2014

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune
July 23, 2014

This article discusses Chicago Public School’s FY2015 budget, which the Board of Education is expected to approve at a July 23 hearing. The Civic Federation’s recent analysis of the budget shows CPS is continuing to operate with a significant structural deficit by relying heavily on reserve funds and using accounting gimmicks to close ongoing budget gaps.   

July 23, 2014

July 23, 2014

In an analysis released today, the Civic Federation announced that it cannot support the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) short-sighted FY2015 budget because it does nothing to address the District’s grave fiscal crisis. The proposed $6.8 billion budget is balanced only by an accounting maneuver that allows the District to book more than 12 months of revenue into a single fiscal year. The Civic Federation’s full 83-page analysis is available here.

July 23, 2014

The Civic Federation does not support Chicago Public Schools proposed $6.8 billion budget for FY2015. The short-sighted budget does nothing to address the District’s grave fiscal crisis and is balanced only by an accounting maneuver that allows the District to book more than 12 months of revenue into a single fiscal year. This one-time and non-recurring revenue will leave a gap in future budgets, contributing to deficits of over $1.0 billion in FY2016 and FY2017.

July 23, 2014

July 16, 2014

ABC 7

ABC 7
July 16, 2014

This segment covers Millennium Park’s 10 year anniversary and compares the original plan to today’s expansive public space. The Civic Federation said the park is a beautiful asset for the City, but it ended up costing much more than projected due to poor planning and lack of financial oversight.

July 17, 2014 - 10:55am


July 17, 2014

A new report by Cook County Clerk David Orr released on July 16 finds that 68.2% or 103 of Chicago’s 151 tax increment financing (TIF) districts experienced revenue declines in 2013. Only 30 TIFs reported revenue increases, while 21 of the districts did not collect any revenues at all. Suburban Cook County TIF district revenues also decreased, falling by 2% from nearly $266.3 million to $260.9 million.


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July 17, 2014 - 10:03am


July 17, 2014

The Illinois Supreme Court’s recent ruling on health insurance for State retirees is expected to increase State costs by approximately $128 million through FY2015, according to the Department of Central Management Services.

Although litigation is ongoing, the high court’s decision apparently means the State will bear the cost of health insurance premium increases previously charged to retirees. Officials at the Department of Central Management Services (CMS) said that those premiums amounted to $42 million in FY2014 and were expected to total $86 million in FY2015.


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

July 13, 2014

The Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Tribune
July 13, 2014

This article details a decade of leases, deals and debts related to Millennium Park—a park originally envisioned as a $150 million open green space that would be no cost to taxpayers. The Civic Federation said the lack of financial oversight and responsible budgeting during development cost the City of Chicago much more than projected, and likely more than was necessary to build the park. 

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