Karen's Feed
Jun 29, 2015

Illinois governor threat to lawmaker air express irks Democrats

CHICAGO (Reuters) – They’re nothing special to look at, they can be noisy and some say that inside they smell like old gym shoes, but that’s not all that’s wrong with the three King Air 350 twin-propeller planes owned by the state of Illinois. For Governor Bruce Rauner, the trouble is that Chicago lawmakers, mostly Democrats, use the planes to fly to the state capital in Springfield.

Rauner, a former private equity executive who was elected as a Republican last November, is trying to cut costs and has threatened to eliminate the government air service that shuttles between Chicago and Springfield. Cancelling the flights would save $3 million a year, the state transportation department estimates.

Jun 22, 2015

Chicago school system delays budget, seeks $1.13 bln of notes

CHICAGO, June 22 (Reuters) – The lack of a final Illinois
budget is delaying a fiscal 2016 spending plan for the Chicago
Public Schools (CPS), a spokesman for the district said on

Bill McCaffrey said CPS, which begins its new fiscal year on
July 1, is “waiting for clarity on state education (funding)
levels before producing our budget.” The Democratic-controlled
Illinois Legislature and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner remain
at odds over a state spending plan for fiscal 2016, which also
starts next week.

Jun 19, 2015

Michigan launches initial fiscal review of Detroit’s Wayne County

By Karen Pierog

(Reuters) – Michigan will immediately begin a preliminary
review of the troubled finances of Wayne County, home to
Detroit, a state treasury spokesman said on Friday.

Terry Stanton, the spokesman, said county officials were
notified of the action in a letter on Thursday from State
Treasurer Nick Khouri.

Jun 1, 2015

Pressure builds on Illinois to address budget woes

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois ended its legislative session on Sunday without a new budget, adding pressure to its shaky finances and relatively low credit ratings.

Heated rhetoric by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate in the waning hours of the spring legislative session could foreshadow a tough budget battle that extends beyond the July 1 start of fiscal 2016.

May 29, 2015

Illinois governor: Will not sign unbalanced state budget

CHICAGO, May 29 (Reuters) – Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner
said on Friday that he will reject a fiscal 2016 budget from the
Democratic-controlled legislature if it is not balanced.

While the Republican expressed optimism that Democrats were
now willing to negotiate his so-called turnaround agenda, his
office later lashed out at Democratic House Speaker Michael
Madigan for declining to compromise.

May 27, 2015

Big demand slices yields for $674 mln of Chicago bonds

CHICAGO, May 27 (Reuters) – Strong investor demand pushed
yields lower for $674 million of Chicago bonds priced on
Wednesday, but the city continued to pay a penalty for its shaky

Carole Brown, Chicago’s CFO, said the four bond issues
attracted $6 billion in orders.

May 27, 2015

U.S. state April income tax revenue returns to growth

May 27 (Reuters) – U.S. state personal income taxes
rebounded in the key revenue month of April, partly due to
2014’s strong stock market, after dropping a year ago, but
collections have not fully stabilized since big increases in

The tax on earnings and investment income is a top revenue
source for the 43 states that collect it and April is their most
important revenue month because of tax filing deadlines and the
tendency to procrastinate by taxpayers owing money.

May 21, 2015

Banks give Chicago breathing room to convert bonds

CHICAGO, May 21 (Reuters) – Banks that entered into credit
and other deals related to variable-rate debt sold by the city
of Chicago have agreed not to immediately demand $2.2 billion in
payments triggered when the city’s rating was cut to junk by
Moody’s Investors Service, according to city documents.

Under new forbearance agreements with banks, the city has
until June 8 to convert $805.7 million of general obligation,
variable-rate debt into fixed-rate bonds, according to the
amended bond documents posted on Thursday.

May 21, 2015

Chicago lays out alternatives to ease looming pension payment

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago could reduce a looming $550
million hike in contributions to its police and fire retirement
systems due next year by extending the deadline for reaching a
90-percent funded level, the city disclosed in bond documents on

The city laid out options for dealing with the payment in
documents relating to its plan to convert about $805 million of
variable-rate debt into fixed-rate bonds to avoid accelerated
debt payments and termination fees to banks.

May 20, 2015

Illinois Republicans offer help for Chicago pension woes

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois’ Republican legislative leaders
said on Tuesday that lawmakers in their party want to help
Chicago address a looming $550 million pension payment increase
in the waning days of the legislative session.

“We’d like to be partners in trying to fix that situation
as well,” Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno said at a
news conference at the state capitol in Springfield aimed at
pushing Democrats who control the House and Senate to negotiate
ways to reform and balance the state’s ailing budget.