Illinois Budget News: May 21

Skip, borrow or defer - the Illinois legislature is still weighing its
options on pension payments. And, like social service organizations and
businesses, teachers' anxieties over
the health of the pension systems are apparent.

"I keep hearing about the fact that our pensions are not funded,"
prefaced Alex Skipworth, a teacher at Kingsley Elementary School. "Who
is responsible for making sure that it is funded? What is being done to
make sure we are not having this same kind of predicament five or 10
years from now?

Good question, the answer - the elected officials we voted in to office.

With the state's fiscal year starting July 1, a budget due by May 31 and a capitol full of legislators who cant agree on a responsible budget plan, a solution to our state's financial mess seems like a pipe dream.

With legislators reconvening Monday, how likely is it we will have a budget before deadline? We don't know, but what we do know is when there's trouble, everybody is in the business of pointing fingers.

Perhaps deservedly so, the Daily Herald reports even Quinn's top aides admit the Governor's borrowing plan to balance state spending "isn't a great option" but the "best of the bad choices left at this point."

Finally, coverage on the states' unfunded pension systems is gaining steam with national news outlets. Most notably with this editorial and cartoon in today's Wall Street Journal.

WSJ Cartoon.jpg

Any one in that cartoon look familiar? They may, this article from the Financial Times proclaims Illinois the "poster child of unfunded pensions in the US." To once again quote Ms. Skipworth above, "Who is responsible for making sure that it is funded?" ....Oh, right.

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