Gov. Pritzker Releases Plans To Fix Illinois' Pension Debt

Andy Dahn
February 15, 2019 - 7:27 am

JB Pritzker/Facebook


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Governor Pritzker's administration is rolling out its plans to conquer Illinois' pension debt, including selling off some state assets.

With the state facing close to $134 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, Deputy Governor Dan Hynes said the key is honesty and transparency.

"That starts with the vital need to finally enact a fair income tax that will generate significant additional revenues for the state," Hynes said. "This governor and this administration is committed to doing the right thing. What we won't do is balance the budget on the backs of working families."

Speaking to the City Club on Thursday, Hynes laid out five steps, including a new revenue source dedicated to pensions, the formation of a pension consolidation feasibility task force and looking to infuse cash by moving state assets into the pension system.

"These assets could be used in a way that is far more financially responsible for the state and reduce the unfunded liability overall."

That's expected to include tollways and the lottery.

"Those are actually complex," Hynes told the crowd. "There are bonds attached to it and stakeholders. But you could break it down into simpler things like properties that the state owns and leases we're in that could relieve some of the financial pressure we have."

Governor Pritzker is set to unveil a new fiscal 2020 budget next week.