Just The Facts: A Primer on Illinois Pensions

Over the last few years we have all been engaged in an effort to find a sensible, workable solution to Illinois' pension crisis. Simply put, the current pension system is unsustainable and poses the threat of overwhelming the state's budget if left unaddressed. More immediately, the state's broader budget issues cannot be resolved until the pension system is reformed. Only then can we adequately address our healthcare, education and public safety needs, and devote the resources necessary to invest in our state and grow our economy.

In the coming days and weeks, our state legislators will be presented with an assortment of proposals, amendments and outlines of efforts to reform the pension system. As they review the proposals, we ask them to remember that, with pensions, the "devil is in the details."  Most importantly, we want them to know that some of the proposals they will see may look like reform, but actually do little.  Some may protect one group while asking other groups to make painful sacrifices.  It will be up to them to judge these proposals and ensure that the interests of all Illinois citizens are represented as a final set of pension reforms is crafted.

To help members of the General Assembly and all stakeholders navigate the details of these proposals and ensure they are fair and reasonable, the Civic Committee today released a straightforward analysis titled "Just The Facts: A Primer on Illinois Pensions."Click here to read the report. It comes without hyperbole or political spin, simply an honest and thorough examination of the challenges before us. It is, we like to say, "Just the Facts."

We are grateful that the discussion started a few years ago has led us to this point. Many said we would never get this far. But it is clear that everyone involved now recognizes the depth of the problem and stands committed to enacting meaningful reforms that are necessary to save our state.

It is our hope that you too will find this analysis useful and that a sensible solution is reached before billions more dollars are lost to this crisis. We look forward to working with state leaders again during this session to help put the state back on sound financial ground. Thank you for your continued involvement and interest.

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