from MuniLand:

Illinois’ expensive retiree health care ruling

By Cate Long
July 7, 2014

Illinois

Illinois suffered a blow when the State Supreme Court ruled that public employee retiree health benefits are enshrined in the state constitution and may not be adjusted via legislation. Illinois has lost an important tool for reducing $56 billion of unfunded retiree health care liabilities and $100 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. These unfunded retiree costs outstrip the state’s $33 billion of net tax supported debt.

from The Great Debate:

Is Michelle running for the Senate?

By Keith Koffler
June 5, 2014

michelle walking in

First Lady Michelle Obama is everywhere. She’s traveling to China. She’s raising money for Democrats. She’s issuing plaintive tweets seeking the rescue of the kidnapped Nigerian girls.

from MuniLand:

Is Illinois getting weaker?

By Cate Long
March 20, 2014

Illinois has queued up contestants for the governor’s race this fall. The New York Times reports:

from MuniLand:

How effective was Illinois’ pension reform?

By Cate Long
December 15, 2013

The state of Illinois had two milestone events recently. The legislature passed a long-awaited pension reform and the state treasurer issued $350 million of taxable general obligation (GO) bonds. The Bond Buyer reported on the GO offering:

from MuniLand:

The high cost of borrowing for Illinois

By Cate Long
June 27, 2013

from MuniLand:

Illinois: Driving into a ditch

By Cate Long
June 4, 2013

The state of Illinois, which joined the union in 1818, has a state motto: “State Sovereignty, National Union.” The website Netstate says this about the motto:

from Full Focus:

Two moms, two kids, one family

March 25, 2013

Ava and Jaidon have two moms. Theresa Volpe is “mommy” and her partner Mercedes Santos is “mama”. Santos and Volpe are a same-sex couple raising two of their biological children as they struggle to get same-sex marriages passed into law in Illinois. Photographer Jim Young spent time documenting the family. Read Jim's personal account.

from MuniLand:

Two massive pension reform struggles

By Cate Long
March 23, 2013

After similar challenges fought in 42 other states, Muniland’s two weakest credits - Illinois and Puerto Rico - are fighting difficult battles over pension reform. The pension struggles will have enormous effects on their creditworthiness.

from MuniLand:

Illinois, the sovereign entity, gets a slap on the wrist

By Cate Long
March 12, 2013

Numerous public pension plans across America are in horrendous shape. The employee plan of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, funded at an alleged 7 percent of assets, is functionally broke. Other public plans, like that of Charleston, West Virginia, have 24 percent of the assets needed to meet future promises to retirees.

from MuniLand:

Illinois on the downward slope

By Cate Long
January 28, 2013

The state of Illinois was placed in the lower investment grade class last week when Standard & Poor’s downgraded the state to A- with a negative outlook.