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.

June 6, 2014

The Bond Buyer

The Bond Buyer
June 6, 2014

(The full content of this article is only available to the publication’s subscribers.)

This article discusses the uncertainty of Governor Quinn’s decision to sign pension reform legislation for Chicago’s Municipal and Laborers pension funds. It cites a Civic Federation blog post that details how Chicago area governments are prohibited from improving pension funding without State intervention. The Governor signed the legislation on June 9. 

June 9, 2014

ABC 7

ABC 7
June 9, 2014

This article covers the pension reform bill for two Chicago pension funds that Governor Quinn signed into law on the June 9 deadline. It was unclear until his signature whether the Governor would support the bill passed by the Illinois General Assembly in early April. The Civic Federation said the reforms are a critical first step in addressing the City’s pension funding crisis, but even more challenging work remains to stabilize the Chicago Police, Fire and Teachers pension funds.

June 9, 2014 - 10:31am


June 9, 2014

The following opinion piece by Civic Federation President Laurence Msall was published by the Chicago Tribune on June 5, 2014.


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June 5, 2014 - 4:55pm


June 5, 2014

State statute governs all benefits and funding of public pensions for the City of Chicago. The City cannot contribute more to its pensions than the multiple of employee contributions allowed under state statute. There has unfortunately been some confusion in the media on this point ahead of a Monday, June 9th deadline for Governor Quinn to sign into law pension reforms for the City of Chicago’s Municipal and Laborers’ Funds.


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June 5, 2014 - 4:02pm


June 5, 2014

A week after the Illinois General Assembly ended its spring session, legislative leaders circulated new information about the FY2015 spending plan approved by lawmakers.


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