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Illinois Delays Pension Payments; State Comptroller In 'Impossible' Situation

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Illinois Delays Pension Payments; State Comptroller In 'Impossible' Situation
  • Illinois will delay November pension payments.
  • Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger attributed the postponement to a cash shortage.
  • Municipal bonds and pensions expert Cate Long weighed in on the issue.

Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger said on Wednesday that Illinois will have to delay a November payment of $560 million to pension funds. She suggested a similar thing could happen with December payments.

Munger explained that the situation was generated by a shortage of cash, which was, in time, caused by the state’s extended budget impasse. However, she added, all payments will be made before the end of the fiscal year in June of 2016. At the time, the state prioritizes “the bond payments above everything else,” the Comptroller told reporters.

Cate Long's Take

Cate Long explained that, "The state's contribution to their pension fund can be delayed but it appears that Illinois legislators are unwilling to make the tough choice to either raise taxes or cut services."

She continued, "The inability of Illinois public officials to reach consensus damages the credibility of the state and complicates funding for vital services."

To conclude, she stated that, "The Illinois Comptroller has an impossible task of trying to manage the state's cash flow and meet the need for public services while the Legislature and Governor lock horns in Springfield."

 

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