Top News

Unclaimed property bill requires excess funds go towards curing pension debt

Ann Maher Jul. 20, 2017, 2:31pm

SPRINGFIELD - A provision of the omnibus budget bill that allows the Illinois treasurer to offset "actuarial reserve deficiencies" in the state's woefully under-funded pensions, faces criticism among business interests.

New analysis of state pension systems shows number of retirees earning more than $100K nearly 17,000

Ann Maher May 10, 2017, 10:21am

New analysis from the Taxpayers United of America (TUA) shows that more than 16,000 former state government employees each collect annual pensions of at least $100,000, costing taxpayers more than $2 billion this year alone.

Supporters of 1 cent sales tax increase say it will relieve property owners; Plenty of critics say tax payers are already tapped out

Ann Maher Mar. 10, 2017, 3:29pm

Madison County voters next month must decide whether to increase sales tax by 1 cent to help schools with capital improvement projects.

Tightening of 'part-timers' pension eligibility seen as positive by taxpayers' advocate, but only 'tinkers' with big problem

Shanice Harris Feb. 2, 2017, 7:26am

A taxpayers' advocate sees a recent decision that increases the minimum number of hours that Madison County employees must work in order to be eligible for pension benefits as a positive move, but one that only "tinkers" with a more profound problem.

Taxpayers United of America says Madigan likely won't step down despite petition

Karen Kidd Jan. 11, 2017, 12:38am

SPRINGFIELD (Madison - St. Clair Record) – The number of signatures is growing on a petition urging Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan to step down but Taxpayers United of America's executive director says he's very realistic about the chances Madigan will do that.

More protests planned by Illinois taxpayers looking for change

Dawn Geske Oct. 19, 2016, 1:06pm

More protests are being planned by Illinois taxpayers seeking some relief for the steep property taxes that are being faced with in the state.

Take home pay of Madison County officials is four times higher than average worker, thanks to current salaries and pension payments

Ann Maher Sep. 9, 2016, 7:26am

Four county officials and a state senator from Madison County combined earn close to $1 million annually in current salary and pension payments, all funded by taxpayers.

Illinois work comp needs reform, critics say; Bloated government is ‘hindrance to progress, trade and prosperity’

Ann Maher Aug. 29, 2016, 3:43pm

Critics of bloated state government point to the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission (IWCC) as a prime example of inefficiency.

The very expensive and cynical lesson David Werner taught us

The Madison County Record Jul. 19, 2016, 10:32am

More than 100,000 Illinoisans have graduated from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville during its nearly 60 years of operation.

Report: Union employee funding practice costs taxpayers

Carrie Salls Jul. 14, 2016, 1:29pm

CHICAGO – A recent report reveals the legal practice of “official time,” under which government agencies pay staff on a full-time basis to work for a labor union rather than for taxpayers, comes with a hefty price tag.

TUA sees stopgap budget as temporary fix to CTU's demands

April Bamburg Jul. 11, 2016, 8:18am

While the state's stopgap budget adopted on the eve of a new fiscal year has for now satisfied the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), a taxpayer watchdog believes it's just a matter of time before more demands are made known.

TUA: Retired state leaders living high off the hog at taxpayers expense

Andrew Burger Jul. 11, 2016, 7:25am

The $147,477-plus former Governor James Thompson receives in annual state pension payments shines a light on a pension system that's essentially bankrupt, eroding the middle class, and creating classes of retired ¨have's¨ and ¨have-nots,¨ according to Taxpayers Union of America's latest study.

Two SIU retirees among top 400 pensioners in the state, report says

Karen Kidd Jul. 8, 2016, 9:42am

Two Edwardsville pensioners, whose combined annual pension is almost $476,000, made the top 400 in Tax Payers United of America's 10th Annual Report of Illinois State Pensions.

Illinois lawmakers say they're open to some higher education reforms

Michael Carroll Apr. 11, 2016, 7:23am

Some state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle seem open to at least a few of the reform ideas recently proposed by an Illinois think tank to help reduce higher education costs and make colleges and universities more affordable to students in the state.

Former SIUE chancellor among highest paid SURS' beneficiaries

Ann Maher Apr. 4, 2016, 1:11pm

Former Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville chancellor David Werner is among the highest paid beneficiaries of a state pension system that has $22.4 billion in unfunded liability.

Haine and Haida among top IMRF beneficiaries in state; Though adequately funded, critic says pension system 'just as efficient at stealing taxpayer wealth'

Ann Maher Mar. 9, 2016, 8:51am

The top Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) beneficiaries in Madison and St. Clair counties are among the state's highest paid. And both of them - a lawmaker and a judge - are accruing benefits in other pension systems that will provide even more tax payer-supported income for life when they retire a second time.

Taxpayers' advocate trounces Illinois Teachers Retirement System: 'Nothing compares to its fraud, waste and abuse'

Ann Maher Mar. 3, 2016, 12:41pm

Former O'Fallon Township High School Superintendent Russell Clover who earns $185,465 in retirement is among the highest paid beneficiaries of the Teachers Retirement System (TRS), according to the Taxpayers United of America (TUA).

Taxpayers' advocate says under-funded Judicial Retirement System rife with conflicts of interest

Ann Maher Feb. 23, 2016, 4:22pm

Most of the state's public pension systems are perilously under-funded, and the Illinois Judicial Retirement System (JRS) is no exception.