While Illinoisians rang in the New Year with family and friends, a little-noticed new forecast released by the Governor's Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) on the first of the year leaves no room for celebration.
Gov. Pat Quinn estimates that the pension liability grows by $12.6 million every day. We've heard about this issue for so long that it's become a jumble of doom-laden numbers all so large they are difficult to comprehend.
Today, Chicago residents can count on their streetlamps working tonight and the police responding to emergencies in well under an hour. Unless they demand immediate action to address public employee retirement costs, that may not be true tomorrow.
The pension crisis still has no solution, and as each day passes, the Illinois taxpayers are the ones who pay the piper -- literally. It's cost taxpayers $21 billion since 2000, and it's only getting worse.
Starting with the seemingly-endless battle of pension reform in Springfield, to our crumbling public school systems in Chicago; no one can deny that this week in Illinois was brimming with some pretty intriguing sound bites.
On a range of issues, our state faces tough problems that can only be solved by stakeholders and elected officials working together. The new pension reform legislation, Senate Bill 2404, shows the way.