Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Illinois Ranks Worst For Pension Debt Rate (Look Around Folks)

The bad news about the fiscal-shape of Illinois continues to roll in.  Now, Moody's rates Illinois pension date rate the worst in the country.  By a mile.

Let's all remember who is in charge here in Illinois, ok?  Those three up there in the top photo?  Speaker Mike Madigan (and his Super Majority), Senate President John Cullerton (and his Super Majority) and Governor Pat Quinn.  They *control* Illinois.  And...this is what we get:
Illinois’ pension liability as a percentage of state revenue is far and away the nation’s highest, according to a new report from a major credit-rating agency. 
The state’s three-year average liability over revenue is 258 percent, Moody’s Investors Service says. 
The next closest? Connecticut, at about 200 percent.

The Moody’s report averaged the Illinois percentage from 2010 through 2012. In 2012 alone, the state’s rate was 318 percent. 
The state has a $100 billion deficit in the amount of money that should be invested in the portfolios of five state-employee pension accounts. Lawmakers adopted an overhaul plan last fall that cuts benefits and increases worker contributions to significantly cut that debt.
But the law has been challenged in court. A Sangamon County judge indicated last week he wants the case moved swiftly to appellate courts, suggesting the Illinois Supreme Court’s rejection in July of a law affecting retiree health insurance could prove a model for the pension challenge. 
Moody’s points out that even if the pension overhaul gets constitutional approval from the state’s high court, it still will take decades for Illinois government to dig out of its financial hole.
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