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How Illinois became America's failed state
Illinois Comptroller: "The State Can No Longer Function"

With just 10 days to go until Illinois enters its third year without a budget, resulting in the state's imminent downgrade to junk status and potentially culminating in a default for the state whose unpaid bills now surpass $15 billion, Democratic Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza issued a warning to Illinois Gov. Rauner and other elected officials on Tuesday, saying in a letter that her office has "very serious concerns" it may no longer be able to guarantee "timely and predictable payments" for some core services.

In the letter posted on her website, Mendoza who over the weekend warned that Illinois is "in massive crisis mode" and that "this is not a false alarm" said the state is "effectively hemorrhaging money" due to various court orders and laws that have left government spending roughly $600 million more a month than it's taking in. Mendoza said her office will continue to make debt payments as required, but indicated that services most likely to be affected include long-term care, hospice and supportive living centers for seniors. She added that managed care organizations that serve Medicaid recipients are owed more than $2.8 billion in overdue bills as of June 15
"The state can no longer function without a responsible and complete budget without severely impacting our core obligations and decimating services to the state's most in-need citizens," Mendoza wrote. "We must put our fiscal house in order. It is already too late. Action is needed now."

Unveiling the direst language yet, in her letter Mendoza said "we are now reaching a new phase of crisis" perhaps in an attempt to prompt the Democrats and Republicans to sit down and come up with a compromise:

Illinois could be 1st state with 'junk' credit status due to budget

CHICAGO –  Illinois is on track to become the first U.S. state to have its credit rating downgraded to "junk" status, which would deepen its multibillion-dollar deficit and cost taxpayers more for years to come.

S&P Global Ratings has warned the agency will likely lower Illinois' creditworthiness to below investment grade if feuding lawmakers fail to agree on a state budget for a third straight year, increasing the amount the state will have to pay to borrow money for things such as building roads or refinancing existing debt.

The outlook for a deal wasn't good Saturday, as lawmakers meeting in Springfield for a special legislative session remained deadlocked with the July 1 start of the new fiscal year approaching.

That should alarm everyone, not just those at the Capitol, said Brian Battle, director at Performance Trust Capital Partners, a Chicago-based investment firm.

"It isn't a political show," he said. "Everyone in Illinois has a stake in what's happening here. One day everybody will wake up and say 'What happened? Why are my taxes going up so much?'"


by Kevin Ryan

Illinois is tettering on the brink of bankruptcy. The state has unpaid bills totaling $14.7 billion, and $130 billion unfunded pension liabilities, and has failed to produce a budget for the last 2 years.

And one of the major reasons is the largess doled out to Illinois public employees. There are 50,000 public employees earning six-figure salaries, who cost Illinois taxpayers $8.0 billion per year ($6.1 billion in salaries plus $1.9 billion in pensions and perks). That includes:

18,900 teachers and school administrators

9,000 college and university employees

8,838 State of Illinois employees

5,122 small-town city and village employees

5,007 City of Chicago rank-and-file managers and workers

60% of state pensioners retired in their 50's, many with full pension benefits. Over half of state pensioners will receive $1 million or more in pension benefits over the course of their retirements. Nearly 1 in 5 will receive over $2 million in benefits.

The average pensioner will get back their employee contributions after just two years in retirement. In all, pensioners’ direct employee contributions will only equal 6% of what they will receive in benefits over the course of their retirements.

Illinois has 650,000 active public employees and 350,000 retired public employees receiving a pension check. One in every six paychecks in Illinois goes to a government employee or retiree. All supported by tax dollars, including the highest in the nation property taxes. It's an economic system that simply doesn't work."

SOURCES: http://www.openthebooks.com/map/?Map=1801&MapType=Pin 
Fascinating thread. It is much better due to Oly's insights, as it takes more than one side to flesh out a story. I am interested to see how this plays out.
Lots of one-sided shit written here, probably mostly originating with the right-wing 'Illinois Policy Institute'.  Mish Shedlock is a fellow traveler of those guys, if he is not somehow receiving compensation from them.

But I will admit, that when I retired in 2013, all of the senior bank examiners were being paid between $96,000 and $110,000 (benefits extra).  No doubt they all crossed the $100,000 threshold by 2015.  One hundred thousand dollars is not an unusual State salary.  It is a combination of what you do and longevity/seniority in one's position.  Seniority/longevity is very important in governmental pay scales.

There is also a great "compression" in the State salary scale, as our top career boss apparently only earned $121,000 (his salary fluctuated a bit from year-to-year, he must have been paid some kind of rare overtime).  Our ribbon clerks and telephone receptionists were around $55,000 and more if they had some seniority.

I will also admit that one gets back all of one's own retirement contributions and any conceivable interest within 24 to 27 months of starting to draw a State pension check.  Absolutely true.

(Yesterday, 12:39 AM)oly2059 Wrote: There is also a great "compression" in the State salary scale, as our top career boss apparently only earned $121,000 (his salary fluctuated a bit from year-to-year, he must have been paid some kind of rare overtime).  Our ribbon clerks and telephone receptionists were around $55,000 and more if they had some seniority.

You know, I only figured that out about ten years ago.     Big Grin   Idea  Exclamation

I have access to billing rates for all the company (a engineering consultancy) by grade (not individuals) so I can create fee estimates. I noticed that my grade's billing rate was very similar to two grades above me. They got nicer titles, an enormous work burden, massive stress but FA more $$$.

I was never good at climbing the company ladder anyway because I have a big mouth; instead I earned a lot more by doing unpopular projects in unpopular places. Often my pay was more then double that of my team leader in the good years and sort of similar in the quiet years.

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