July 3, 2014 - 2:16pm


July 3, 2014

On June 26, 2014, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle issued a preliminary budget forecast for fiscal year 2015, which begins on December 1, 2014. The report also provides estimated year-end results for FY2014.

A public hearing on the preliminary FY2015 budget will be held on July 16, 2014.  Board President Preckwinkle plans to present her final budget proposal for FY2015 in October 2014.

 

Preliminary FY2015 Budget Forecast


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July 2, 2014 - 12:08pm


July 2, 2014

Despite criticizing the General Assembly for not passing an adequate budget for the new fiscal year, Governor Pat Quinn signed the legislature's appropriations bills into law on June 30, 2014, the last day before the start of FY2015. The Governor vetoed $250 million from the capital budget, but the change will not affect the State’s operating expenditures.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.

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