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Illinois Governor Seeks to Sell State Buildings and other Assets to Pay Pensions


Governor Prtizker released details of his plan to save Illinois. He made three of three of the worst possible choices.

Intergenerational Theft

The Chicago Tribuner reports Gov. J.B. Pritzker's administration considering selling state buildings and land to pay for pensions.

Bear in mind, assets like tollways are supposed to fund road maintenance, not pensions.

That's just the beginning of the Illinois madness.

Trifecta of Madness

Wirepoints funder Mark Glennon comments on the Illinois Trifecta: Prtizker Administration's Pension Plan for Illinois Will Center on Three Strokes of Folly.

What follows is a guest post by Mark Glennon.

Deputy Governor Dan Hynes today released the first details of the Pritzker Administration's plan for addressing Illinois' pension crisis.

The administration will pursue three of the worst ideas available:

First, the state will borrow to pay off pension debt by offering a $2 billion pension obligation bond. We and many others have already written very extensively on why pension obligation bonds are irresponsible. Some of those articles are linked below. One credit card to another solves nothing and adds risk.

Second, the state will kick the can on its ramp for taxpayer pension contributions out seven years. The new goal for reaching 90% funding (which is still inadequate) will be 2052. Your grandchildren will fully understand why pensions are called "intergenerational theft.

Third, the state will gift public assets to the pensions. The particular assets and their value remain to be identified, but speculation has centered on the Illinois Tollway, the Illinois Lottery and government office buildings. The concept goes by the name "asset transfer." We explained why it's a sham in an article just yesterday. A pension actuary writing in Forbes did the same.

The combined effect of the first two is odd. All $2 billion from the bond offering will go immediately to the pensions, but the regularly scheduled pension contribution for the upcoming fiscal year will drop by $800 million.

That $800 million will be needed by the administration to balance the upcoming budget, to which it has firmly committed. Pritzker' budget speech will be on February 20 and will have the details.

We have no idea how Pritzker will be able to claim a balanced budget, even with that $800 million and even using all the gimmicks available under the phony budget accounting rules used by the state. Those phony accounting rules show the upcoming budget to be $3.2 billion short, according to the Pritzker administration.

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