Democratic solution to Illinois' financial mess: Increase labor costs

Incredible as it may seem in the midst of Illinois' financial crisis, the state payroll continues to grow. Reported the Illinois Policy Institute:

While other states and the private sector tighten their belts, public employee spending in Illinois continues to grow. Outlays for salaries, benefits and pensions of state workers now top $9 billion and will increase moving forward. The number of full-time equivalent state employees rose from 53,227 to 55,497 from 2009 to 2010 and is expected to go up again this year.

The Institute noted that Illinois handed out pay increase to 46,000 state workers on July 1. Among them were 43 raises averaging 11.4 percent to his staff.

Here are the Institutes recommendations to "rights size" labor costs:

·         Reduce the number of full-time equivalent jobs funded by the state

·         Address pay disparities between public sector and private sector jobs

·         Reform pension benefits for current employees

·         Implement pension funding reform, using the principles of the Pension Funding & Fairness Act

·         Pursue consumer driven health care options

·         Eliminate programs that benefit small groups of workers at the expense of taxpayers, like the Upward Mobility Program

·         Adopt the suggestion of the Sunshine Commission and eliminate duplicative and ineffective programs

·         Use a Council on Efficient Government to streamline state operations


Leave a comment
  • Maybe the state is following its own version of Keynesian economics: i.e. the myriad of state workers spend their paychecks at Walmart and 5% comes back to the state in the sales tax, plus another 5% to the municipality, Todd, the RTA, etc. Probably true, but nothing is being produced here to generate economic growth; not that the Democrats care, except for Quinn and his gourmet carp grant.

    The theory is probably the same as my (maybe facetious, maybe not) suggestion that the CTA could wipe out its deficit by investing in enough PowerBall tickets. I'm sure the people at the CTA who thought locking in $4.69 a gallon for diesel fuel could figure out how to mathematically control the game to assure that it gets a $93 million payout. Even if the odds, according to the PowerBall site, are 1 in 195,249,054.00.

Leave a comment

  • Advertisement:
  • Advertisement:
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Visit my new website

    I'm a freelance writer, editor and author. I can help you with a wide variety of projects. Check out my new website at

  • Subscribe to The Barbershop

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Dennis Byrne’s Facebook Fan Page

  • Like me on Facebook

  • Our National Debt

  • Twitter

  • Tags

  • Recent Comments

    • It was pointed out that in 1968, the Hong Kong flu killed over 100,000 in the US and over a…
      Read the story | Reply to this comment
    • After 20 years of science courses and 40 years of practice, I can tell you the “science” always changes and…
      Read the story | Reply to this comment
    • Yes Dennis! and if you weren't retired this would have appeared in the back of the obituaries, probably in Braille.…
      Read the story | Reply to this comment
    • But don't our doctors and nurses follow the science? And if we don't follow the science, what does that leave…
      Read the story | Reply to this comment
    • Thanks for sharing this wonderful information lowes employee portal
      Read the story | Reply to this comment
  • /Users/dennisby/Desktop/trailer.mp4
  • Advertisement: