Should Illinois municipalities be allowed to declare bankruptcy? Experts presented conflicting views to a House committee. “Chapter Nine is an abrogation of political will,” said Bill Brandt, chairman of the Illinois Finance Authority. “If you can't make the tough decisions, you file a Chapter Nine, and you allow a judge to administer the pain to a variety of people.” But it has its place, “not because we relish this,” said bankruptcy attorney Brad Erens. “Nobody relishes this. But this is the position we've been put in, and we are not serving our constituents if we just perpetuate this unsustainable situation.”
Click here for summary
Erens goes so far as to predict another recession – and soon. “Look at what the level of taxes in this state already are, relative to the rest of the nation,” Erens said, responding to a question about when could be a good time to raise taxes. “If they're high, perhaps the legislature should think about lowering them, particularly because we are in a competitive economy.” Members of the Illinois House Personnel and Pensions Committee are studying the governor's pension proposal.