Illinois Policy’s Adam Schuster Talks Pension Reform In Illinois
On Election Day 2020, voters here in Illinois said "I don't think so" to the Fair or Progressive Tax that was heavily pushed by Governor Pritzker. So, where do we go from here to straighten out Illinois' financial problems?
The first place to start, according to Illinois Policy Institute's Adam Schuster, is pension reform. And, we need to get started right now.
Adam Schuster is Illinois Policy's Senior Director of Budget and Tax Research, and he spent some time on the WROK Morning Show on Friday discussing his piece "Pension Reform Key To Protecting Illinois Services, Taxpayers After Fair Tax Rejection."
Adam told us that lawmakers should now turn their attention to reforming the state’s worst-in-the-nation pension crisis. The only realistic path to balancing Illinois’ budget while protecting programs for the state’s most vulnerable residents starts with a constitutional amendment to allow pension reform.
Governor Pritzker doesn't seem to want to go in that direction, though. Rather than dealing with much-needed pension reform here in Illinois, the governor has warned us that he will look to some combination of “painful” cuts and tax hikes on everyone. All program spending, including core government services, could face up to 15% across-the-board cuts. He’s also considering supporting a hike in the flat tax by up to 20%.
As Adam Schuster points out, asking Illinoisans to pay more in taxes to receive less in services and provide less support for families in need has been the trend in state government for the past decade, driven by the ever-growing cost of Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation pension crisis. Because of that, Illinois lost population for six consecutive years due to outmigration and saw the nation’s worst population loss over the last decade.
Take a listen as Adam explains what pension reform could do to improve many things here in Illinois: