Illinois Comptroller: “The State Can No Longer Function, We Have Reached A New Phase Of Crisis”

Illinois Comptroller: “The State Can No Longer Function, We Have Reached A New Phase Of Crisis”:

With just 10 days to go until Illinois enters its third year without a budget, resulting in the state’s imminent downgrade to junk status and potentially culminating in a default for the state whose unpaid bills now surpass $15 billion, Democratic Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza issued a warning to Illinois Gov. Rauner and other elected officials on Tuesday, saying in a letter that her office has “very serious concerns” it may no longer be able to guarantee “timely and predictable payments” for some core services.

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Unable To Pay Bills, Illinois Sends “Dear Contractor” Letter Telling Firms To Halt Road Work On July 1

Unable To Pay Bills, Illinois Sends “Dear Contractor” Letter Telling Firms To Halt Road Work On July 1:

“Illinois is not in danger of becoming a failed state, it is a failed state…”

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“Now The Pain Begins”: S&P, Moodys Cut Illinois To Near Junk, Lowest Ever Rating For A U.S. State

“Now The Pain Begins”: S&P, Moodys Cut Illinois To Near Junk, Lowest Ever Rating For A U.S. State:

“We’re going to start to see some real pain now,” Senate President John Cullerton told reporters in Springfield on Wednesday after both S&P and Moody’s downgraded Illinois to just above junk, the lowest ever rating for a US state. “We’re going to start to see downgrades. We don’t have any funding for schools. We don’t have any funding for higher end and a bunch of social programs.”

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Illinois Democrats In Senate Pass 33% Hike Of Personal And Corporate Income Taxes

Illinois Democrats In Senate Pass 33% Hike Of Personal And Corporate Income Taxes:

Senate Democrats in Illinois are pushing ahead with a new budget proposal that includes a massive personal and corporate income tax hike and an expansion of the state’s sales tax, after saying they are no longer willing to wait for a broader deal with Republicans.  In all, the package is expected to cost Illinois taxpayers an incremental $5 billion.

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Illinois Stiffing Vendors To Fund Budget Deficits – It’s A “Financial Time Bomb”

Illinois Stiffing Vendors To Fund Budget Deficits – It’s A “Financial Time Bomb”:

No other state or business would operate by incurring obligations to its vendors and setting up a third-party payment structure that dramatically inflates the costs of those services.”

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New Study Finds Taxpayers Are Fleeing New York, Illinois and California

New Study Finds Taxpayers Are Fleeing New York, Illinois and California:

A new study, highlighted by the Albany Times Union, indicates that taxpayers are fleeing New York and California though we’re sure it has nothing to do with oppressively high costs of living and/or burdensome tax rates in those states.

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Illinois Governor Furious After Pension Fund Cuts Returns Forecast, Sticking Taxpayers With “Crippling” Tax Hike

Illinois Governor Furious After Pension Fund Cuts Returns Forecast, Sticking Taxpayers With “Crippling” Tax Hike:

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was furious on Friday after unsuccessfully waging a last-minute battle to block the Teacher Retirement System pension fund from cutting its long-term return assumption from 7.5% to 7.0%, a move that puts the cash-strapped state government on the hook for up to $500 millions of dollars more in the short term.

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Illinois Warns Of “Crippling Tax Hikes”, “Devastating Impact” If Largest Pension Fund Admits Reality

Illinois Warns Of “Crippling Tax Hikes”, “Devastating Impact” If Largest Pension Fund Admits Reality:

Action this week by Illinois’ biggest public pension fund to lower its expected rate of return, could “cripple” the state’s already fragile finances, Governor Rauner has warned. “If the (TRS) board were to approve a lower assumed rate of return taxpayers will be automatically and immediately on the hook for potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in higher taxes or reduced services… the unforeseen and unknown automatic cost increases would have a devastating impact.

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Illinois State Workers, Highest Paid In Nation, Demand Up To 29% Wage Hikes

Illinois State Workers, Highest Paid in Nation, Demand 11.5 to 29% Hikes:

Illinois state workers, are the highest paid in the nation.

Yet, despite the fact that Illinois is for all practical purposes insolvent, the AFSCME union demands four-year raises ranging from 11.5 to 29 percent, overtime after 37.5 hours of work per week, five weeks of vacation and enhanced health care coverage.

AFSCME workers already get platinum healthcare benefits that would make nearly everyone in the country green with envy.

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Incompetence Personified: Illinois Has Devolved To One-Off Funding Bills As It Still Can’t Pass A Budget

Incompetence Personified: Illinois Has Devolved To One-Off Funding Bills As It Still Can’t Pass A Budget:

As Illinois struggles to get its fiscal house in order (good luck with that), it has devolved into funding key programs with one-off stopgap measures rather than approving an overall comprehensive budget. The state remains the only remaining state without a 2016 plan.

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Most recently, lawmakers overwhelmingly approved $700 million to fund social service programs, however, as the Chicago Sun Times reports, the bill is likely to sit on Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk as he tries to push lawmakers to come to an agreement on a balanced budget instead of one-off solutions.

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Illinois To Delay Pension Payments Amid Budget Woes: “For All Intents And Purposes, We Are Out Of Money Now”

Illinois To Delay Pension Payments Amid Budget Woes: “For All Intents And Purposes, We Are Out Of Money Now”:

By now, Illinois’ budget problems are no secret.

Back in May, after the State Supreme Court struck down a pension reform bid, Moody’s move to downgrade the city of Chicago thrust the state’s financial woes into the national spotlight.

Since then, the situation hasn’t gotten any better and despite hiring an “all star” budget guru (for $30,000 a month no less), Bruce Rauner was unable to pass a budget in a timely fashion leading directly to all types of absurdities including everything from the possibility of shortened school years to lottery winners being paid in IOUs.

Now, as Bloomberg reports, pension payments are set to be delayed. Bond payments, apparently, will still be made.

Illinois will delay pension payments as a prolonged budget impasse causes a cash shortage, Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger said.

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“Desperate” Chicago Schools Need Half Billion To Avoid Mass Layoffs, Partial Shutdown

Teachers

“Desperate” Chicago Schools Need Half Billion To Avoid Mass Layoffs, Partial Shutdown (ZeroHedge, Sep 8, 2015):

Last month, we noted with some incredulity that Illinois is now paying lottery winners in IOUs. Long story short, the state’s inability to pass a budget means big winners will have to wait on their prize money, a ridiculous situation which prompted one Illinoisan to remind state officials that “if we owed the state money, they’d come take it and they don’t care whether we have a roof over our head; our budget wouldn’t be a factor.” State Rep. Jack Franks agreed, noting that the “government is committing fraud on the taxpayers.”

The lottery debacle is just the latest example of Illinois’ deepening fiscal crisis which was catapulted into the national spotlight in May when a state Supreme Court decision that struck down a pension reform bid prompted Moody’s to cut the city of Chicago into junk territory. Since then, the media has been awash with tales of the labyrinthine, incestuous character of the state’s various state and local governments and the deplorable condition of the state’s pension system.

The fallout from the budget crisis is far-reaching in the state with the latest example being Chicago’s public school system (the third-largest in the country), which opened this week with a budget shortfall of nearly a half billion dollars.

Here’s WSJ with the story:

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Illinois: Fluoride Spill Eats Through Concrete (Video)


Added: Apr 8, 2011

Description:

The substance in the report is concentrated hydrofluorosilicic acid, a pollution by product of the phosphate fertilizer industry that is trucked around the country and placed in your drinking water. The chemical is so caustic, the transport tankers must be coated inside with rubber to protect the metal. As mentioned in the video, the chemical is strong enough to melt concrete and many other substances. Fluorosilicic acid is so dangerous, cleanups must be done by qualified hazmat crews that are properly protected in hazardous material suits. It is completely illegal to dump this toxic substance in any natural body of water anywhere in the country. However, if it is placed in a container, in either powdered or liquid form, and sold to water utilities, it magically becomes a product that can then be placed in municipal drinking water anywhere in the United States. Despite being used as a drug, the substance has never been approved for that use by the FDA.

This video is presented under the fair use copyright law as an example of how hazardous fluorosilicic acid is. The source and producer is WQAD News 8 of Moline, Illinois – FAN would like to thank WQAD and Kristy Mergenthal for their excellent report.

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Hyper-Sensitive Illinois Mayor Orders Police Raid Over Parody Twitter Account

Hyper-Sensitive Illinois Mayor Orders Police Raid Over Parody Twitter Account (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 19, 2014):

Just yesterday, I wrote a post about how a South Carolina construction worker was fined $525 and lost his job for not paying $0.89 for a drink refill while working at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston. The point was to emphasize how the law comes down with a devastating vengeance when an average citizen commits a minor crime, yet allows the super rich to loot and pillage with zero repercussions. There is now a systemic two-tier justice system operating in these United States, and the result will unquestionably be tyranny if the trend continues unabated.

The latest example of a lowly citizen being subject to a disproportionate use of the law, is Jon Daniel of Peoria, Illinois. Jon was behind a parody Twitter account that mocked Peoria mayor Jim Ardis, and his biggest mistake was not making it clear that it was a parody. As a result, Twitter had already suspended the account weeks ago. Problem solved, right? Wrong.

The tough guy mayor was so offended that a plebe would dare criticize his royal highness that he ordered a police raid on the home of Jon Daniel and his roommates. Peoria native, Justin Glawe wrote an excellent article on the subject for Vice. He writes:

Jon Daniel woke up on Thursday morning to a news crew in his living room, which was a welcome change from the company he had on Tuesday night, when the Peoria, Illinois, police came crashing through the door. The officers tore the 28-year-old’s home apart, seizing electronics and taking several of his roommates in for questioning; one woman who lived there spent three hours in an interrogation room. All for a parody Twitter account.

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