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Report: Twin Cities receive C grades for fiscal health

FEBRUARY 15, 2019 | THE NEIGHBOR (MINNESOTA) | by Bethany Blankley

By the end of Fiscal Year 2017, 63 large cities did not have enough money to pay all of their bills, the report states, meaning debts outweigh revenue.

Taxpayer bailout of Puerto Rico can be avoided with bankruptcy solution

FEBRUARY 15, 2019 | AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM | by Ryan Ellis

If there's one thing the financial crisis taught taxpayers, it's that a bailout is one of the easiest ways to grow government and increase the corruption of crony capitalism in our system. One such bailout may be brewing in Puerto Rico unless Congress acts soon.

Illinois governor eyes bond sale, tax hike to save pensions

FEBRUARY 15, 2019 | BLOOMBERG | by Danielle Moran

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is considering a broad plan to inject cash into the state’s struggling pensions by selling $2 billion of bonds, implementing a progressive income tax and using billions of dollars of government assets to reduce the massive debt owed to the retirement system.

Pritzker’s pension prescription: borrow, defer payments and peddle assets

FEBRUARY 15, 2019 | PENSIONS & INVESTMENTS | by Greg Hinz

In a speech to the City Club of Chicago and a phone interview, Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes suggested the key to the plan is to extend the period of time the state has to reach full funding of its pension plays by seven years, to 2052.

More on Illinois’ pensions: Yup, we’re kicking the can

FEBRUARY 15, 2019 | FORBES | by Elizabeth Bauer

Currently, state law mandates contributions be made at a pace to achieve 90% funding by 2045.  Hynes/Prizker's plan is to revise this schedule so that the 90% funding target is deferred for a further seven years.

Kentucky universities, colleges could opt out of troubled pension system under bill

FEBRUARY 15, 2019 | LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER | by Linda Blackford

Many university staff employees belong to KERS. Because the system is so underfunded, participating employers must pay increasingly large sums of money to keep it afloat.

Hilton to disclose political spending; New York pension fund withdraws resolution

FEBRUARY 14, 2019 | PENSIONS & INVESTMENTS | by Robert Steyer

“New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, sole trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, said Wednesday that Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. agreed to disclose its political spending, thus allowing the pension fund to withdraw a shareholder resolution. 'Investors have the right to know if companies are using corporate funds to influence the political process and whether they're doing so to promote the companies' best interests,' Mr. DiNapoli said in a news release.” 

Chicago and Illinois corruption followup: Lawsuit involving the unpaid vendors program

FEBRUARY 14, 2019 | STUMP | by Mary Pat Campbell

“… it wasn’t so much that the 'advances' were a corrupt system, but that the early-mover was very politically connected… and pretty much got a guaranteed return that is very high compared to Illinois interest rates on short-term bonds. But… I may have been a little hasty in thinking there was nothing untoward beyond the high interest rates….  The guy is making money off money from unpaid bills. Mendoza oversees the program re: unpaid bills. This does not look good….”

Asset transfers to pensions: Be very afraid

FEBRUARY 14, 2019 | WIREPOINTS ILLINOIS NEWS | by Mark Glennon

“At its core, the concept is exceptionally simple. In practice, however, it’s exceptionally subject to smoke and mirrors and would further obscure a pension system that’s already far too opaque. More importantly, asset transfers do nothing to improve the state’s overall fiscal health.”

Pritzker keeps private pay records for top aides hidden

FEBRUARY 14, 2019 | ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK | by Greg Bishop

“Gov. J.B. Pritzker pledged that he would be transparent about using his personal fortune to double the state salaries of his top aides in the governor's office, but the billionaire has yet to release payroll records for those employees. Before taking office, Pritzker announced that he would supplement the taxpayer-funded salaries of key employees with his own money. … 'This process will take place in a transparent manner with requirements that information be reported publicly,' Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh said in a statement at the time of the announcement.”

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