McHenry Times

McHenry Times

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Rep. Ugaste laments pension crisis after another report ranks Illinois near the bottom

Local Government

By Glenn Minnis | Sep 13, 2019

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Illinois state Rep. Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) on the House floor | repugaste.com

Illinois state Rep. Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) believes the findings of a new Tax Foundation report that ranks the state almost last in the country for funded ratio of pubic pensions speaks to the policy change that’s desperately needed in Springfield.

“Something has to be done and until that happens we will not get businesses coming in to grow the economy or improve the tax base because no one wants the uncertainty,” Ugaste told the Kane County Reporter. “We need fair and equitable policy to have any chance of attracting new business.”

Based on fiscal-year analysis from 2017, researchers found Illinois’ public pensions are funded at just 38 percent to rank No. 48 in the country, ahead of only New Jersey and Kentucky. According to The Center Square, the percentage was calculated by comparing the market value of the pension fund’s assets to its accrued pension liabilities with analysis based on data released by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

“I’m not happy to hear any of this, but I have to admit with the way things have been going in Springfield I would have thought we would be No. 50,” Ugaste said. “The bottom line is new businesses don’t want to just hear they will be hit with more taxes to resolve all the problems we already have.”

Since arriving in Springfield, Ugaste has staunchly pushed for pension reform.

“We can’t afford to have Springfield continue to ignore what’s happening with pensions in this state,” he previously told the Kane County Reporter after an Illinois Policy Institute report detailed how the state, at more than 25 percent of the overall budget, now spends more on pension benefits than any other state in the country.

“It’s not fair to our kids, grandkids or anyone else left around here and it’s not fulfilling the job we were sent here to do,” Ugaste said.

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