Challenge: In recent months, some state legislators have taken on the issue of escalating costs of state employee pensions that were promised over the years. Develop a solution for addressing this issue. Include the specifics of the problems as well as specific ideas for a solution. Also include a timeline for your solutions.
By the end of 2012, Illinois had an estimated pension debt of roughly $98.6 million. Currently, public pensions cost Illinoisans $12.6 million dollars a day. Attributing to this factor was the spike to investment losses by the five state pension funds, insufficient contributions, and the decision of the Teachers’ Retirement System to reduce its long term investment rate. This conclude’s that Illinois is one of the worst states at contributing to its pension system. If our elected leaders do not address this issue, the bulk of our states budget will go towards paying pensions instead of paying for educational and social programs. It is not necessarily true that retired teachers, state employees and university staff are at risk of not receiving their pensions, but the money does need to come from somewhere.
The Solution and Timeline:
As there is no chance of a federal bailout, the solution must come from within the State of Illinois. The state needs to change how it does business. The culture of budget gimmickry and short-sightedness pushes costs off to the future, but eventually that will be impossible —…