Standard and Poor’s Pension Spotlight on Illinois is Bad News For Taxpayers

LAKE BARRINGTON… State Representative Martin McLaughlin (R-Barrington Hills) from the 52ND House District released the following statement after reviewing the recent pension analysis put out by Standard and Poor’s this week.

Rep. McLaughlin said, “How come you haven’t heard about this report? Maybe because the Governor’s office, traditional media, and social media search engines don’t want you to know about it. 

“Dare I say it is an inconvenient truth for the narrative coming from the majority party and governor in Illinois? They continue to say everything in Illinois is just peachy.

“As a 30 year professional in the pension investment arena, I know we have a problem here.  I always say the first step to fixing a complex problem is to start by acknowledging the problem. How about we just start there?

“As reported in the S & P Analysis posted on June 26, 2023, the report said, ‘… contributions are still short of an amount we consider indicates funding progress.’ I have attached the report link here:

“Even after the flowery fiscal forecasts from the Illinois House, Senate, and Governor’s office, the Standard and Poor’s analysts are not being fooled by the constant political talking points.

“This is exactly why Illinois currently holds the worst credit rating in the nation and shares the bottom of the list with New Jersey as the only two states in the nation with a credit rating below A. There is plenty of rhetoric from my colleagues blasting southern states as out-of-touch bastions, but it appears our fellow representatives from across the aisle should be looking in the mirror at our poor fiscal malfeasance.

“It is not hard to see where we stand across the nation. Talk about an orange menace when looking at the fiscal map below.

“We would still be in the red instead of the orange category without the onetime Federal Covid funding and the unexpected inflationary tax receipts. Democrats in Illinois are not being honest with themselves and, worst of all, to the great people of the state. 

“Furthermore, this report shows a 2.2% funding increase that will become necessary over the many years to come, just to get Illinois back on track to the top of the 6-7% annual return expectations.

“One out of every five dollars from our state’s current $50 billion budget is being spent on pension costs. We need to change the trajectory now to allow Illinois to be competitive with surrounding states. 

“Please join me in calling on all legislators to admit the problem and address the problem – sooner rather than later. I again, will say that I am here ready and willing to work with any legislator on fundamental solutions to fix this out-of-control pension epidemic.”

Reading for the week: 

S&P: Illinois’ ‘poorly funded’ pensions to continue stress on state, local governments 

Telephone Town Hall

Today, State Representative Tom Weber and I are hosting a joint telephone town hall meeting starting at 6 p.m. Constituents who live in the 52nd and 64th House Districts will be called to join the live event where we will provide a legislative update and answer questions live over the phone. All you need to do to participate is answer our phone call at 6 p.m., but if you miss the call for any reason, you can join the conversation by dialing in at 1-888-231-5462.