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  • Reworking the State Universities Retirement System | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    time Pensions represent an important component of the overall compensation package for university employees and is key for us recruiting top notch individuals said Robert F Rich director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs who developed the proposal with Jeffrey R Brown an IGPA professor and the William G Karnes Professor of Finance at the U of I s Urbana Champaign campus The plan is intended to stimulate discussion among policymakers and legislators and is not intended to reflect the position of the University of Illinois the authors said Although the authors consulted with a large number of experts they stress that the opinions expressed in the plan are their own The full proposal can be found here It contains several components that reflect some of the ideas that have been publicly discussed by state leaders in recent weeks The proposal has four basic components 1 Create a new hybrid retirement system for new employees that would combine a scaled down version of the existing SURS defined benefit plan with a new defined contribution plan that would include contributions from both employee and employer 2 Peg the SURS Effective Rate of Interest to market rates 3 Redistribute the SURS funding burden to include a modest increase in employee contributions and new direct contributions from universities thereby reducing state government s burden on state government and 4 Align pension vesting rules with the private sector which would decrease the years new employees hired after January 1 2011 would need to work for their pension benefit to be vested The proposed reforms assume that all accrued benefits of current employees would remain unchanged up to the point reforms are implemented and that changing from an existing plan to the new hybrid plan would be voluntary for current employees This proposal

    Original URL path: http://igpa.uillinois.edu/pensions/SURS-paper (2016-02-17)
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  • Illinois' lowered rating: What does it mean? | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    states Moody s stated that The downgrade of the state s long term debt follows a legislative session in which the state took no steps to implement lasting solutions to its severe pension underfunding or to its chronic bill payment delays Two major rating services Standard Poor s and Fitch did not change their evaluation of Illinois credit worthiness IGPA economist Richard Dye left co director of The Fiscal Futures Project provides the following analysis of the effect of this action There are four elements to the state s fiscal crisis 1 a structural deficit or mismatch between sustainable revenues and spending obligations 2 large unfunded liabilities for pensions and other future obligations like retiree healthcare 3 a serious cash flow problem resulting in bill payment delays lasting many months 4 a borrowing constraint as concerns about Illinois ability and willingness to meet its obligations have raised its cost of borrowing and may threaten the availability of credit Illinois has made enormous strides in the last year in addressing the structural deficit with a large income tax increase and sizable reductions in spending Even so the structural deficit has not been eliminated and painful additional steps will be necessary to bring spending and revenues in line over the next five or 10 years As noted in Moody s statement Illinois has failed to deal with its backlog of unpaid bills which is on the order of 7 billion Although Illinois has reduced pensions of state workers hired after January 2011 it has not dealt with unfunded liabilities arising from pension obligations to workers hired prior to that date The good news is that investors lenders are still willing to buy Illinois bonds even if the interest rates are slightly higher The bad news signaled by Moody s downgrade is that

    Original URL path: http://igpa.uillinois.edu/press/bond-rating-downgrade-jan2011 (2016-02-17)
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  • Quinn's Three Year Budget Projection Takes Realistic Long View | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    is more than a single year ahead Illinois budget crisis has been decades in the making and it will take many more years to get the situation under control However the 3 year budget projections include only the state s four General Funds which is only about half of the total state budget The Fiscal Futures Project has found that a much more meaningful fiscal picture can be seen in a Consolidated Funds Budget that also includes the state s special funds learn more here Without consolidation transfers between funds can obscure the true budget situation If major budget items are shifted into and out of the General Funds from one year to the next the 3 year projections are not as meaningful Yet taken for what they are the governor s 3 year revenue projections seem plausible and responsible The inclusion of FY 2015 highlights the impact of the expiration at the end of calendar year 2014 of most of the temporary income tax increases imposed one year ago Only half of the calendar 2015 tax reduction occurs in fiscal 2015 so including one more fiscal year would show even greater decline On the General Funds expenditure side the 3 year projections show scheduled increases in pension contribution and debt service payments Other expenditure categories show identical amounts for FY 2013 2014 and 2015 with all of the changes if any occurring between FY 2012 and FY 2013 Thus the spending side budget can be seen as a broad brush precursor to Governor Quinn s detailed budget proposals for FY 2013 which will be announced next month There are four policy proposals or priorities signaled in these numbers 1 Governor Quinn assigns priority to education by maintaining FY 2012 spending levels for the next three years while most everything

    Original URL path: http://igpa.uillinois.edu/content/quinns-three-year-budget-projection-takes-realistic-longview-0 (2016-02-17)
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  • Illinois Economic Review: Illinois job growth since end of recession now exceeds 100,000 | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    Seminar 2009 Seminar Study Centers Office of Public Leadership Regional Economics Applications Laboratory Illinois Economic Review Illinois job growth since end of recession now exceeds 100 000 Dec 19 2011 Illinois job growth since the end of the 2007 2009 recession has new exceeded 100 000 according to the Illinois Economic Review published by IGPA s Regional Economic Applications Laboratory Read the latest review Related Content Illinois Economic Review forecasts

    Original URL path: http://igpa.uillinois.edu/content/illinois-economic-review-illinois-job-growth-end-recession-now-exceeds-100000 (2016-02-17)
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  • IGPA's Don Fullerton looks at Cain's 9-9-9 plan | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    Study Centers Office of Public Leadership Regional Economics Applications Laboratory IGPA s Don Fullerton looks at Cain s 9 9 9 plan IGPA Professor Don Fullerton a former deputy assistant secretary of the U S Treasury takes a look at Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain s 9 9 9 tax code plan in a posting for the Center for Business and Public Policy s blog Read the posting Related Content

    Original URL path: http://igpa.uillinois.edu/content/igpas-don-fullerton-looks-cains-9-9-9-plan (2016-02-17)
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  • Illinois Economic Review: State employment picture still cloudy | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    2010 Seminar 2009 Seminar Study Centers Office of Public Leadership Regional Economics Applications Laboratory Illinois Economic Review State employment picture still cloudy Job growth in Illinois remains sluggish and forecasts from IGPA s Regional Economic Applications Laboratory do not indicate major improvement anytime soon according to the latest Illinois Economic Review Read the Review Attachment Size IERSep2011 pdf 775 11 KB Library Critical Issues Related Content Illinois Economic Review forecasts

    Original URL path: http://igpa.uillinois.edu/content/illinois-economic-review-state-employment-picture-still-cloudy (2016-02-17)
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  • IGPA Economists React to President Obama's American Jobs Act | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    used a highly visible forum primarily to speak to the American people and put Congress on notice as to how serious he is about the need to act now IGPA Director Robert F Rich said He reiterated more than 15 times pass this bill now He also said that he planned to take his message to all corners of the United States Despite a forceful message Obama s plan has received mixed reviews As pundits debate the possible impact of several measures included within the plan questions have arisen about the ability of the plan to not only pass but to work For President Obama s proposal to work the reduction in the payroll tax will have to be significant enough to induce firms to starting hiring workers said Dr Dan McMillen The problem now is uncertainty about the future The situation in Europe is causing a lot of concern and businesses have become very conservative again out of fears of another recession Given this concern about the future it s unlikely that a reduction in the payroll tax will have a significant effect on unemployment Although uncertainty is a persistent obstacle investment in infrastructure shows more promising results This is an ideal time for the government to increase infrastructure investment because the relative cost of finance and building is low There is wide agreement that roads bridges airports and other important parts of our infrastructure need repairs said Dr Darren Lubotsky Historically low interest rates make the cost of financing these repairs less expensive than it would otherwise be In addition this form of government spending makes up for some of the decline in consumer spending and therefore raises aggregate demand While one might disagree with the overall size or design of the programs they represent standard policy responses

    Original URL path: http://igpa.uillinois.edu/content/igpa-economists-react-president-obamas-american-jobs-act (2016-02-17)
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  • Flash Index illustrates a stagnant summer | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    2009 Seminar Study Centers Office of Public Leadership Regional Economics Applications Laboratory Flash Index illustrates a stagnant summer After a steady increase for over a year a key indicator of the Illinois economy has stalled in the three summer months The University of Illinois Flash Index stayed at 97 8 in August unchanged from June and July reports economist J Fred Giertz who compiles the index for the IGPA The Flash remains below the 100 level which marks the division between decline and growth in the state s economy A further decrease would have indicated an acceleration of decline in the state economy Given the widespread concern about the economy the last several weeks the August results can be viewed as relatively good news Giertz said Discussion has focused on a double dip recession Recent economic results have lessened this concern It is clear that the economy is growing very slowly The Flash Index remained steady for the third consecutive month for the fourth time in its history which dates to 1981 The other instances were July August and September of 2002 June July and August of 2003 and April through June of 2004 After adjustment for the individual and corporate income tax rate increases earlier this year corporate and sales tax receipts were up in real terms in August compared to the same month last year while individual income tax receipts were down The Flash Index is a weighted average of Illinois growth rates in corporate earnings consumer spending and personal income Tax receipts from corporate income personal income and retail sales are adjusted for inflation before growth rates are calculated The growth rate for each component is then calculated for the 12 month period using data through August 31 2011 Click to view graph Related Content Illinois Economic

    Original URL path: http://igpa.uillinois.edu/flash-index/2011/august (2016-02-17)
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