* Another excerpt from Amanda Vinicky’s interview of Gov. JB Pritzker…
Pritkzer’s original plan for this year’s budget included partially deferring the state’s pension payment, extending the deadline by which Illinois is set to reach 90% funding of its woefully underfunded pension systems, from 2045 to 2052.
After criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and thanks to an infusion of unexpected tax money, that idea was dropped.
But it’s not off the table for the coming fiscal year, as long as it’s coupled with other changes such as transferring valuable state assets (the lottery, tollway or Thompson Center government office building are among the possibilities).
“We put out a number of things that we think you need to do, ways, tools, that you can use in order to help us manage our pensions in the state,” Pritzker said. “This component has to be done in conjunction with these other items. Because we’re trying very hard not to crowd out the important expenditures that need to be made.”
Pritzker and legislators are on the hook for finding $9.8 billion for the state’s pension systems in the next budget – a half-billion dollars more than the pension payment this fiscal year.
The only component of that “plan” that he was willing to flesh out last year was skimping on the state contributions. Pretty much everything else was super vague and iffy.
If he tries that same nonsense again, he’s gonna get the same push-back.