Why is the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce a part of this coalition? The State of Illinois’ fiscal crisis should be one of the most important policy issues for the State and the Illinois business community. How can we expect Illinois, including Pekin, to have a vibrant economy with this millstone around our necks:
- Illinois has a backlog of $8.5 billion in bills it cannot pay.
- Credible projections estimate the backlog will grow to a staggering $34 billion in just 5 years unless there is dramatic action. To put that in perspective, the entire state budget is roughly $33 billion.
- Moody's has downgraded Illinois' rating to the lowest of any state - even lower than California.
- With just 43% of pension obligations funded, Illinois’ public pension system is the worst funded state system in the nation. Illinois has an unfunded pension liability of $83 billion.
- Unless there is dramatic action, the cost of Illinois’ pension system will grow from 20% to nearly 50% of Illinois’ tax revenues in the next 30 years. Obviously, that is not sustainable.
To learn more about the State’s pension problems, click here: http://ilchamber.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Pension-reform-backgrounder.pdf.
You can read the policy position paper from Chambers for Pension Reform at: http://ilchamber.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/CPR-policy-position-3-16-12.pdf
You can also read Senator Dave Koehler's recent email on the pension issue, including how we got into this situation, and his thoughts on some of the solutions. Senator Koehler's email is at: http://www.illinoissenatedemocrats.com/senators/koehler/KoehlerPensionNewsletter.pdf
If your business or organization would like to join CPR, please complete the simple enrollment form and fax it to the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce at 346-2104.