Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Friday that she did everything she could to give Chicago’s four city employee pension funds a solid foundation. And now Springfield has to play its part.
After paying down $1.3 billion in pension debt over the past four years and embarking on actuarial funding, Lightfoot’s 2023 budget is $16.4 billion.
Prepaid future pension obligations of $242 million. This not only avoids compounding taxpayers’ pain, but also eliminates the need for pension funds for local government employees, workers, firefighters and police to sell assets to cover their debts. increase.
After doing all that, Lightfoot said state legislators should take it from here.
“It is time for local governments across the state to get our payouts. “We’ve done it efficiently. We haven’t shut down services in Chicago, but other municipalities have had to shut down services and have had to lay people off. And yet they’re still suffering.” , the mayor said after raising the financial issue with the City of Chicago Club.
“Springfield and the governor’s office need to take note and start the process.”
Mayor Rahm Emanuel tried to negotiate pension reform, but it was eventually overturned by the Illinois Supreme Court. The court noted that the reform violated the Illinois Constitution, which states that pension benefits “should not be impaired or diminished.”
On Friday, the City of Lightfoot announced that the city and its unions “went to the negotiating table and took several steps” to ensure that the pensions promised to city employees and retirees were “actually available.” Those promises that the time has come to make some difficult choices, but do the right thing.
“We are not ready to discuss the details here. However, we must discuss with all relevant stakeholders and think about the structural changes needed to strengthen pensions. don’t take away the benefits they’re getting We have to think of what else we can do You know the list What’s missing is the political will And we have to find it hmm,” she said.
“If you’re still pumping money into a fundamentally flawed system, it’s going to be the wagging tail of the city hall dog.”
Lightfoot isn’t the only one calling on Springfield to step up.
Civic League president Lauren Musal made the same point, praising the mayor for including pension advances in the pre-election budget.
He directed that the Illinois Legislature receive “who is a member, what their level of contribution must be, and what benefits they must earn” to retired city employees, He said he needed state help to ease the “enormous pressure” to raise local property taxes.
Pressed to identify sources of funding, Msall proposed new taxation on Illinois retirement income, expanded sales tax coverage to include professional services, and amended the Illinois Constitution to eliminate the pension protection clause. I pitched to
Early on, Lightfoot hatched plans for a state takeover of four funds, but was repulsed by Pritzker.
The governor then infinitely exacerbated Chicago’s pension crisis by ignoring the mayor’s plea to reject a bill that would raise the pensions of thousands of Chicago firefighters.