Illinois pensions

Illinois Pensions
11:59 am
Wed August 29, 2012

S&P lowers Illinois credit rating over pensions

An interior look at the dome of the Illinois State Capitol building in Springfield, Ill.
(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Updated 12:26 p.m.

Continuing pension problems have earned Illinois another reduction in its credit rating.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services announced Wednesday that it is lowering Illinois' rating a notch. The decision is based on weak funding for government pensions and a "lack of action on reform measures."

Only California has a lower rating from S&P, but the service says the outlook for California is positive. Illinois falls into the "negative outlook" category.

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Illinois State Parks
2:19 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Retirements leave gap at Ill. state parks

Wallula Junction Flickr

Since late last year, almost a quarter of Illinois state park superintendents have retired, taking with them in many cases 30 or more years of experience that will be hard to replace.
 
The loss of that institutional knowledge is one more cost of the state's deep financial crisis. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is among state agencies hit hard by years of budget cuts.
 

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Morning Round-Up
6:59 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Morning headlines: Thursday, July 19, 2012

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Building in Midtown fire up to code, fire chief says

City fire officials say a Tuesday night blaze that left an apartment building near Saint Louis University completely uninhabitable does not appear to be suspicious.

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Illinois Pensions
2:36 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Illinois Services Threatened As Pension Hole Grows

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says the pension system is putting a grip on the state's budget. As a result, other services may lose funding.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 1:16 pm

Fallout from the recession continues to hobble state finances, particularly in states crippled by pensions they can't afford to pay.

Chief among them is Illinois, which has racked up the largest unfunded liability in the nation. Politicians there pledge to fix it.

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Illinois Pensions
2:21 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Ill. pension problem put off for 5 more weeks

The interior dome of the Illinois State Capitol building in Springfield, Ill.

It looks like lawmakers won't reach an agreement on how to solve Illinois' grossly underfunded pension problem anytime soon.

Legislative leaders met Thursday to find a compromise on their sticking point of who should pay retirement costs for downstate and suburban school districts.

But talks delved into school funding equality. Leaders say they'll take five weeks to study that before discussing pensions.

Meanwhile the state's $85 billion in unfunded liability continues to grow.

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Illinois Pensions
3:45 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Illinois to hire first 'state actuary' to review retirement systems

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey.

Illinois' pensions systems should get more scrutiny under legislation Governor Pat Quinn signed this afternoon. Illinois will be hiring its first "state actuary."

Until now, Illinois' five state pensions systems have issued their own reports on their financial health.

In the future, an independent "state actuary" will look at the retirement funds for state and university workers, legislators, judges, and public school teachers in the suburbs and downstate.

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Morning round-up
6:23 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Morning headlines - Thursday, June 7, 2012

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

SLU researchers study meningitis vaccine

Saint Louis University scientists are conducting a clinical trial of a vaccine for the last remaining strain of meningitis without a vaccine.

The university is recruiting children ages 10 to 12 to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. Adolescents are the primary carriers of the bacteria that causes the disease. 

Meningococcal meningitis is a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection. Flu-like symptoms can progress rapidly, and death can occur within hours.

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Morning round-up
6:46 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Morning headlines - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Ameren, Westinghouse to give more details on nuclear partnership

Missouri regulators will learn more today about a proposal to build small nuclear reactors at Ameren Missouri's Callaway nuclear power plant.

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Michael Madigan
8:25 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Madigan reflects on his role, regrets for Ill. pension system

Illinois House of Representatives

Illinois lawmakers are scheduled to debate today a massive overhaul of the state’s pension system.

The measure’s revival was made possible last night by a surprise move from House Speaker Michael Madigan, who calls an overhaul necessary.

Madigan told Illinois Public Radio’s Amanda Vinicky he regrets his role in passing an early retirement package a decade ago that added to the state’s $83 billion unfunded pension liability – and what he wants to do about it now.

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Illinois pensions
12:17 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Ill. House committee approves pension changes

The Ill. State House has approved legislation that makes drastic changes to state employee pensions.
(via Flickr/JimBowen0306)

Brian Mackey contributed reporting from Springfield.

An Illinois state House committee has approved sweeping changes to public employee pensions.

It's one of Gov. Pat Quinn's priorities for the legislative session that ends on Thursday.

Current and retired state and university employees, and public school teachers would face a difficult choice; keep their health care in retirement and have future pay raises count toward their pensions, but a smaller cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), or keep the current 3 percent compounding COLA but lose health care.

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