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Pension Funding Crisis Worsens: Rising Costs Continue to Crowd Out Other Priorities

All Illinois residents — including the youngest among us — are paying the price for Illinois’ decades-long failure to make adequate contributions to the state-funded pension plans. As elected officials try to dig the state out of this enormous pension hole, they are undermining the very foundations of the state’s prosperity. Pension costs are increasing far faster than revenue and will soon consume more than one-quarter of state revenues, resulting in severe cuts to nearly every other public priority, such as crucial investments in education, health care, and human services.

The General Assembly is well aware of the harmful effects of rising pension costs on the rest of the budget. However, progress toward a solution has stalled — making the situation worse. Our elected officials must act with a new sense of urgency to alleviate both the short- and long-term burdens of escalating pension costs. Without a responsible and balanced pension funding plan, deeper, more harmful cuts are inevitable.

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