Tag archive for Illinois

Sparse ballot year for pension reform initiatives

This is a busy campaign season, given congressional mid-term elections and 36 governor races. State ballots are also full of direct democracy votes, a total of 148 initiatives of one sort or another according to Ballotpedia. But distinctly missing from ballots at the state level are any pension or government labor reform measures…

SEC lashes Kansas with a wet noodle

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued another toothless set of fraud charges against a state. The regulator has cited Kansas for misleading investors about the condition of its severely underfunded pension system and the risks that purchasers of its bonds potentially faced. As in its earlier actions against New Jersey and Illinois, the SEC levied no fines nor recommended anyone to prosecutors for further investigations, even though all of these SEC actions have accused the states of fraud…

Scotus’ Illinois ruling may threaten SEIU California

After courts in California ruled that home health care workers in the state paid with Medicaid funds were no longer independent contractors but now public employees, SEIU began a long effort to organize them which culminated in the union in 1999 signing up 74,000 Los …

Penn pension reform roils state budget talks

A battle over pension reform  threatens to derail the Pennsylvania state budget in the wake of a report which shows sharply rising retirement costs for school districts around the Keystone State. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett says he might not pass a budget until (and unless) …

Chicagoans: Let somebody else pay for pension mess

The headline on the story in the Chicago Sun-Times today says that voters don’t favor Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposal to raise property taxes by $250 million to devote to the city’s severely underfunded pensions. But that’s not the most interesting information contained in the poll the story refers to, if you ask me. What’s most startling about the poll is that Chicago voters instead favored two other solutions…

Griping about taxes is high where unions are strongest

Gallup has a new state poll out listing where residents gripe the most about taxes. The winners (if you can call them that) are largely not surprising, if you 480x480xno-taxes.gif.pagespeed.ic.FajJWeTt5lfollow policy debates these days. (Except for Nebraska. What are those folks so upset about?) Just for fun (if you can call it that) I took a look at how the list of those complaining the most about taxes correlated to the degree of government unionization in each state…

Stillinnoyed by taxes, pension debt? Move to Indiana

Back in 2011, when Illinois temporarily raised taxes on individuals and companies by two-thirds– largely to finance its rapidly growing pension debt– stillinnoyedneighboring Indiana began a campaign to lure businesses from the Prairie State with an ad campaign whose slogan was, “Illinoyed by higher taxes?” Now, after four years in which pension costs have devoured most of the gain in tax revenues in Illinois, Gov. Pat Quinn is proposing making those 2011 tax increases permanent, and Indiana is asking in a new campaign, “Stillinnoyed?”

Who decides how much unions may charge non-members?

As Dan DiSalvo notes below, yesterday the Supreme Court heard arguments in Harris v. Quinn, in which several home health care workers in Illinois who have refused to join the Service Employees International Union object to being forced to pay a so-called “agency fee” to the union for representation. As Dan’s analysis and another on Scotusblog make clear, the case raises some important constitutional issues. But what also interests me and, I think, has political implications for the future of these arrangements, is a significant issue not being argued as central in this case…

Will campaign cash influence Illinois pension case?

Illinois is one of only seven states where Supreme Court justices are initially chosen to the court in partisan contested elections, and the state has among the most freewheeling and least restrictive rules for campaign contributions to court candidates. Not surprisingly, a check of campaign contribution records by the Chicago Sun-Times finds many of the justices have accepted significant amounts of cash over the years from parties with an interest in the pension reform legislation…

How significant will Detroit be for public pension policy?

Cross-posted at publicceo.com.
Significant, but perhaps less so than developments in Illinois and California. Nothing that happens in federal bankruptcy court can change the fact that pension reform is mostly a matter of state law.
In addition to being the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history, Detroit …