As state lawmakers wait for word on whether they’ll be called back to Springfield before the scheduled late-November veto session, they can think about this: Illinois’ pension problems could be even worse than previously reported. House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) says now that new financial reporting standards from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board are out, he wants a meeting of the House Pension Investments Committee he chairs sometime in July.
“I think we’re going to find out as we go through this that (the unfunded liability) is really a higher number than the $85 billion -- significantly higher – and that we need to be aware of that, and folks around the state need to be aware of that,” says Cross.
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“You have to be a little more cognizant of the fact that the interest rates you’ve assumed you were going to earn are not as lucrative as you may have thought in the past,” Cross continues. “The idea of earning 8½ percent on money in this day and in this economy, both short- and long-term, is not realistic.”
Lawmakers adjourned May 31 expecting to address unfinished pension business at a date to be determined. That’s still unscheduled, leaving the legislature’s next scheduled date as the fall veto session after Thanksgiving.