From the Illinois Policy Institute…
Illinois is facing a fiscal crisis. The expense of retirement benefits is overwhelming many areas of the state budget. Lawmakers have known of this situation for years, but thus far have not adopted a comprehensive solution.
The state faces an $85 billion unfunded liability to its pensions systems. It owes another $45 billion in healthcare benefits to future retirees. And the state borrowed an additional $17 billion in bonds that were issued to cover pension costs. The state has no means and no plan to pay for these liabilities. Costs must be trimmed.
If lawmakers do not reform pensions, dollars for core government services will be crowded out by rising retirement costs. When Illinois sends more dollars to teacher retirements than it does to the classroom, the state is choosing pensions over schools.
This three-part series by the Illinois Policy Institute specifically focuses on the impact rising retirement costs will have on education funding at various levels. Reports in the series include:
- Pensions vs. schools: Downstate and suburban PK-12 education
- Pensions vs. schools: Chicago Public Schools