Illinois legislators and Gov. Pat Quinn seem to be at a stalemate when it comes to figuring out how to cover the state's underfunded employee pensions. Gov. Quinn wants to borrow money in order to cover the employee retirement funds, while Illinois Democrats are pushing for current employees to contribute even more to their penison funds to help make up the fiscal shortage.
Something needs to be done. A recent report by the Pew Center For States found that the state's underfunded pension liability is at least $80 billion. Add that to the estimated $40 billion the state will need to pay out in long-term obligations to retired state employees and you can see how urgent it is to find a fair solution. But how did we get here?Numbers are being thrown around left and right about how much the state needs to come up with to pay its obligations to the firefighters, teachers, police officers, and other employees of Illinois. But with all the chatter, there doesn't necessarily seem to be a clear understanding of how we got here and what it really means for public employees. On Tuesday, Henry Bayer, of AFSCME 31 and the We Are One Coalition, did a bang up job of breaking it all down on Chicago Tonight. Check it out: