Karen's Feed
Jul 24, 2015

Judge rules Chicago pension reform law is unconstitutional

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A 2014 law aimed at shoring up two of Chicago’s financially shaky public worker retirement systems violates pension protections in the Illinois constitution, a judge ruled on Friday.

In a written opinion, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Rita Novak rejected Chicago’s argument that members of its municipal and laborers’ retirement systems are getting a net benefit under the law.

Jul 24, 2015

Court ruling could derail Illinois pension cut strategy

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The struggle by Illinois and its local
governments to ease huge public pension burdens could get
tougher if a state judge later on Friday tosses out a 2014 law
aimed at two of Chicago’s retirement systems.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Rita Novak is expected by
legal experts to void the law that increases pension
contributions by the city and workers while reducing and
skipping cost-of-living increases for retirement payments.

Jul 22, 2015

Michigan governor declares fiscal emergency for Detroit’s county

By Karen Pierog

(Reuters) – Michigan Governor Rick Snyder on Wednesday
declared that Wayne County, home to Detroit, is in a financial
emergency, agreeing with the findings of a state-appointed
review team.

“Restoring Wayne County to a secure financial foundation
will ensure residents will continue to get the services they
need,” the Republican governor said in a statement.

Jul 22, 2015

Caesars faces bankruptcy after losing key ruling

By Karen Pierog and Tom Hals

CHICAGO/WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) – Caesars Entertainment Corp (CZR.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) may be closer to joining its operating unit in bankruptcy after a federal judge refused to protect the casino company from creditor lawsuits seeking up to $11 billion, sending its stock plummeting.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Benjamin Goldgar in Chicago denied a Caesars request to stay four lawsuits by hedge fund creditors who are owed billions of dollars by Caesars’ operating unit, Caesars Entertainment Operating Co Inc.

Jul 13, 2015

Detroit expects early August sale of $275 mln in bonds

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Detroit’s public sale of $275 million of
bonds that financed the city’s exit from bankruptcy is expected
in the first half of August, a city official said on Monday.

John Naglick, the city’s deputy chief financial officer,
said ratings for the bonds are expected late this month, with
investor presentations and pricing scheduled for the first two
weeks of August.

Jul 10, 2015

Talks end over lowering Chicago school pension payment

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Discussions to reduce the Chicago Public
Schools’ fiscal 2016 contribution to its teachers retirement
fund have ended without a deal, officials said on Friday.

“After exploring various options and identifying potential
benefits for both sides, we have mutually decided to end these
discussions,” said CPS Interim CEO Jesse Ruiz in a statement.

Jul 10, 2015

Illinois budget impasse seen lasting for weeks

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The standoff in Illinois between newcomer Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and long-time Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan showed no sign of abating as the state approached a second full week without a budget for the fiscal year that started July 1.

“This could go on for weeks. Or a few months? It’s all uncharted waters at this point,” Christopher Mooney, director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, said on Friday.

Jul 9, 2015

Illinois House passes one-month state budget

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Illinois House on Thursday passed a bill to fund “essential services” and state worker paychecks for a month, as the chamber controlled by Democrats remained at an impasse with the Republican governor over a full-year fiscal 2016 budget.

The measure, which passed with a veto-proof 71 votes, now heads back to the Senate. That body, also controlled by Democrats, passed a $2.26 billion temporary spending bill last week. However, that bill did not include a provision for worker paychecks.

Jul 9, 2015

Judge to rule July 24 on Chicago pension reform law

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An Illinois judge said on Thursday she
will rule July 24 on the constitutionality of a 2014 state law
aimed at shoring up two financially ailing Chicago pension

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Rita Novak made the
announcement after attorneys for the city and its municipal and
laborers’ pension funds, as well as lawyers for city unions and
retirees challenging the law, held more than two hours of oral

Jul 9, 2015

Chicago set to defend pension law from constitutional challenge

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago will try to convince a judge on
Thursday that pension changes for two city retirement systems
are constitutional despite a ruling by the Illinois Supreme
Court two months ago voiding a law that would have cut benefits
for state pensions.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Rita Novak will hold a
hearing on motions by city unions and retirees to overturn a law
for Chicago’s municipal and laborers’ systems that took effect
Jan. 1.