State lawmakers justify keeping in lockstep with AFSCME by saying they’re fighting for the middle class. But middle-class Illinoisans who don’t work for the government are struggling to stay afloat amid flatlining incomes and a stagnant economy.
These plaintiffs alleged they were harmed; they sought their day in court; they had it; in 2006 they lost. The defendant, the employer of thousands of citizens, spent millions in fees and expenses on the case, and received no reimbursement upon prevailing, rather than having that money available for salaries and benefits for its employees, other benefits for its customers or the public, charitable causes and other good deeds.
Pension funds aren’t immune to the volatility of the stock market. Even before Brexit, Moody’s warned that low investment returns are already putting Chicago’s pension funds at risk. A major stock market correction or another recession just might put Chicago and CPS over the edge if their already-underfunded pension systems collapse.
Weak jobs numbers across the Midwest reflect the possibility of an oncoming economic slowdown. In fact, it would not be surprising to face a recession in the upcoming months, given that U.S. jobs growth has been weakening, and it has been seven years since the previous recession ended – a long period of expansion by historical norms.
Under former Gov. Jim Edgar’s pension ramp, unfunded pension liabilities have increased nearly $100 billion despite taxpayers contributing $16.4 billion more to the five state-run pension systems than required under the Edgar plan.
For years, Illinois lawmakers have prioritized government-worker pay and benefits over social services. Between 2000 and 2015, contributions to Illinois state-worker pension funds shot up 586 percent, while state payments for human services increased by only 10 percent.
Illinois AFSCME workers enjoy yearly wages of nearly $60,000 when adjusted for cost of living, in addition to Cadillac health care benefits. Most Illinois state workers will also get free health insurance when they retire, and career state retirees receive $1.6 million in pension benefits on average.
Through a process called physician dispensing, Illinois doctors can not only prescribe drugs but also sell them to injured workers. Research shows that when physicians are allowed to do this, they prescribe 3.2 times the quantity of opioid drugs they would prescribe otherwise.
A new report revealed that Klafter & Burke, a property-tax law firm owned by Chicago Alderman Ed Burke, helped Donald Trump cut property taxes on his downtown Chicago hotel by nearly 40 percent over seven years, saving Trump and his investors $11.7 million.
When the SEIU fails to make caregiver interests a top priority, it’s unsurprising that nearly half of caregivers statewide aren’t union members. Teaming up with lawmakers to require family members to put their loved ones in strangers’ hands to attend an in-person training session is just one example of this.
On a blisteringly hot June afternoon in 1986, Denny Hastert was nominated by a convention of Republican committeemen at the Illinois Math and Science Academy gymnasium to succeed the ill U.S. Rep. John Grotberg.
A landmark study of 15,000 attorneys in 19 U.S. states found that one in three practitioners are problem drinkers. The study found that attorneys with less than 10 years in practice exhibit the highest incidence of problem drinking, depression and anxiety. It is the first nationwide effort to gather data about the legal profession.
Should lawmakers choose to pass a budget, Madigan and Cullerton’s law prohibits year-to-year cuts to lawmaker salaries and operating expenses. No other office or agency of state government has this sort of privilege.