By: Diane Benjamin
HB 0875 is working its way through the Illinois House. SB 0170 is working its way through the Senate.
Both bills want the Treasurer is create a Financially Distressed Cities Fund.
Both bills ignore Illinois can’t pay its bills. Both also ignore why cities are financially distressed. The biggest driver is pensions that can never be adequately funded.
A few years ago Springfield attempted to reform pensions, but the courts threw it out. Now Springfield has quit trying: https://www.wirepoints.com/illinois-democrats-astounding-reversal-on-pensions/?fbclid=IwAR3qYe419V7LfAHZwRNeYgNjlFAh8dQfkRDNT8-qEZLohl6_McCyfYN0WyI
But today, Pritzker and his party are unequivocally opposed a constitutional amendment to allow for benefit changes like SB-1 or anything else, or municipal bankruptcy that would give local government the option to make changes. (One exception is Chicago Mayoral candidate Bill Daley, who says it should be considered for city pensions.) Not even sham reform proposals like the “consideration model,” which might be constitutional, are being discussed.
The Illinois Municipal League supports both of these bills. The IML works for cities, not taxpayers.
Links from IML to both summaries:
One more bill the IML supports: SB 0120: SB 0120
This sounds broad enough to apply to about everything!