Karen's Feed
Nov 3, 2015

Illinois bond sale drought hits schools, mass transit

, Nov 3 (Reuters) – District 300, Illinois’
sixth-largest public school system, has been waiting a decade
for state dollars to complete a construction and improvement
project that began with voter approval of $185 million of bonds
in 2006.

The 21,000-student district in Chicago’s far northwest
suburbs sold the bonds and was able to build, expand and update
schools, officials said.

Oct 28, 2015

Chicago approves Emanuel’s city budget, property tax increase

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s $7.8 billion fiscal 2016 budget and a historic property tax increase to pay for public safety worker pensions easily cleared the city council on Wednesday.

Emanuel last month proposed a $543 million property tax hike phased in over four years, as well as fee increases and spending cuts in an attempt to fix a financial crisis linked to the city’s $20 billion unfunded pension liability.

Oct 27, 2015

Chicago budget heads to final vote despite pension uncertainties

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposed
fiscal 2016 budget and historic property tax increase dedicated
to paying pensions for police and firefighters is expected to
win approval on Wednesday from the city council even though the
spending plan faces uncertainties.

The mayor’s $7.8 billion budget for the fiscal year that
begins Jan. 1 could be short $102 million or $220 million
depending on the actions of the Illinois Legislature, Governor
Bruce Rauner and the state’s supreme court, according to Ralph
Martire, executive director of the Chicago-based Center for Tax
and Budget Accountability. This is despite a $543 million
property tax increase phased in over four years.

Oct 23, 2015

Illinois high court to hear Chicago pension law appeal Nov. 17

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Illinois Supreme Court has scheduled
oral arguments for Nov. 17 in Chicago’s attempt to reverse a
lower court ruling that voided a law aimed at shoring up two of
the city’s financially shaky retirement systems, a court
spokeswoman said on Friday.

A Cook County Circuit Court judge in July rejected Chicago’s
arguments that the 2014 Illinois law provides a net benefit to
workers and retirees because it will save the municipal and
laborers’ retirement systems from insolvency.

Oct 22, 2015

Illinois bond rating cut again over budget impasse

CHICAGO, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Illinois’ ongoing failure to
enact a fiscal 2016 budget due to political wrangling led to a
second major credit rating agency downgrading the state’s debt
to the low investment grade triple-B level this week.

Moody’s Investors Service cut the state’s general obligation
bond rating one notch to Baa1 with a negative outlook on
Thursday. The move occurred three days after Fitch Ratings
dropped Illinois to BBB-plus.

Oct 20, 2015

Illinois budget impasse generates more negatives: Moody’s

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois added to the negative factors weighing on the state’s credit rating with the announcement last week that a monthly payment to pension funds would be delayed due to the ongoing budget impasse, Moody’s Investors Service said on Monday.

“The news of the pension contribution in and of itself is not a rating trigger, but contributes to a growing number of negatives that could affect our view of the state’s credit standing,” said Moody’s analyst Ted Hampton.

Oct 20, 2015

Illinois credit rating downgraded, budget fight cited

CHICAGO, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Illinois’ credit standing took
another hit on Monday as Fitch Ratings downgraded the state’s
rating for the first time on Governor Bruce Rauner’s watch,
citing the deterioration of state finances during a four-month
budget impasse.

Illinois has no budget yet for the fiscal year that began on
July 1, and the stalemate between Republican Rauner
and Democrats who run the legislature has taken a bite out of
state services. The downgrade is the most potent sign yet that
it is worsening the state’s already precarious standing on Wall
Street.

Oct 19, 2015

Illinois budget fight sinks credit rating

CHICAGO, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Illinois’ credit standing took
another hit on Monday as Fitch Ratings downgraded the state’s
rating for the first time on Governor Bruce Rauner’s watch,
citing the deterioration of state finances during its four-month
budget impasse.

The downgrade is the most potent sign yet that the stalemate
between Republican Rauner and Democrats who run the legislature
– which has taken a bite out of state services – is making
Illinois’ already-precarious standing on Wall Street worse.

Oct 14, 2015

Illinois comptroller: cash crunch will delay pension payments

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois will have to delay a November payment of $560 million to pension funds, and may also delay or reduce a similar payment in December, Comptroller Leslie Munger said on Wednesday, blaming a cash crunch stemming from the state’s budget impasse.

“The fact is that our state simply does not have the revenue to meet its obligations,” Munger told a news conference in Chicago.

Oct 13, 2015

Illinois governor eyes sale of landmark Chicago state building

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois will seek to auction off its main building in Chicago, Governor Bruce Rauner said on Tuesday, adding that the Thompson Center is inefficient and that the sale will save the state money and generate property tax revenue for Chicago.

Rauner declined to indicate the market value of the building, which houses 2,000 government workers and which he said will likely be demolished by new owners. Both Chicago and the state of Illinois are mired in financial crisis and the state is currently running without a budget for the fiscal year that began on July 1.