Lightfoot messages indicate how flippantly state government stuck Chicago with higher pension cost – Wirepoints Quickpoint



You may recall earlier this year when the General Assembly passed a bill that Gov. JB Pritzker signed to increase certain pension benefits for Chicago firefighters. The new law is expected to cost Chicago some $850 million and could drop the funded status from what was an already abysmal 18% down to an even-worse 16%.

Well, it appears that Illinois Senate leadership didn’t even bother to talk to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot before mandating that additional burden.

The Chicago Tribune has released Lightfoot email and text messages it obtained on a number of matters. One went from Lightfoot to Senate President Don Harmon. “A courtesy call regarding the fire pension bill would have been helpful, particularly since there is no funding for it,” Lightfoot said. “When that pension fund collapses, I will be talking a lot about this vote.”

Author(s): Mark Glennon

Publication Date: 31 Dec 2021

Publication Site: Wirepoints

Chicago police vaccine mandate: New CPD memo threatens discipline, firing for non-compliance




 A second memo, obtained by the I-Team, was distributed throughout CPD Sunday. The latest memo threatens the firing of officers who do not follow the city’s vaccine policy and orders it be communicated to officers at all police roll calls.

“TO BE READ AT ALL ROLL CALLS FOR SEVEN (7) CONSECUTIVE DAYS. This AMC message informs Department members of consequences of disobeying a direct order to comply with the City of Chicago’s Vaccination POlice issued 8 October 2021 and being the subject of the resulting disciplinary investigation. A Department member, civilian or sworn, who disobeys a direct order by a supervisor to comply with the City of Chicago’s Vaccination Police issued 8 October 2021 will become the subject of a disciplinary investigation that could result in a penalty up to and including separation from the Chicago Police Department. Furthermore, sworn members who retire while under disciplinary investigations may be denied retirement credentials. Any questions concerning this AMC message may be directed to the Legal Affairs Division via e-mail,” the memo said.


“Roughly 38% of the sworn officers on this job, almost 40% can lock in a pension and walk away today,” Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara, Jr. said.

Author(s): Michelle Gallardo, Chuck Goudie

Publication Date: 18 Oct 2021

Publication Site: ABC7 Chicago

No, Lightfoot’s Chicago Budget Does Not Make An ‘Actuarial’ Pension Contribution




Now, what she identifies as an “accomplishment,” having finished the climb up the pension ramp, is actually a state law that left her no choice in the matter. But that’s not the only incorrect part of her statement. Even having finally left the ramp behind, the plans are not funded on an “actuarially determined basis.” They are funded based on the Illinois legislature’s decision of a funding schedule which, for the police and fire plans, is sufficient to attain 90% funding in the year 2055, and for the Municipal and Laborers’ plan, not until 2058. Yes, if you do the math, that’s 34 and 37 years from now.

In fact, the plans’ actuarial valuations calculate a figure that’s labelled the Actuarially Determined Contribution. For the Fire plan (19% funded), the city’s contribution was only 79% of the ADC; for the Police plan (23% funded), the city’s contribution was only 75% of the ADC. And these are the two plans which reached the top of the ramp last year!

Author(s): Elizabeth Bauer

Publication Date: 10 Oct 2021

Publication Site: Forbes

‘Unsustainable’ pension woes hang over Chicago, Lightfoot says: In a speech to potential investors, the mayor combines optimism about the city’s future with a dire warning



Coupling a boatload of optimism with a dire warning, Mayor Lori Lightfoot told investors from around the country that Chicago is well positioned to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and is a good place for them to allocate their cash.

But her remarks May 6 were far different on the subject of underfunded city pension funds, a problem that has bedeviled mayors for the past two decades.

Though workers deserve what they’ve been promised, she said, “that promise will not be met” unless Springfield lawmakers come to the table with financial aid or other reforms.


Lightfoot did not use the word “default.” But some financial experts have warned that some of the city’s four pension funds, particularly those covering firefighters and police, may have trouble paying promised benefits within a few years if they don’t get help.

Author(s): Greg Hinz

Publication Date: 10 May 2021

Publication Site: Crain’s Chicago Business

Lightfoot sends letter to Pritzker urging him to veto firefighters pension bill



Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is urging Governor JB Pritzker to veto a bill boosting pensions for thousands of Chicago firefighters.

The bill, introduced by state Sen. Robert Martwick, D-Chicago, passed in the waning hours of the lame duck session and awaits Pritzker’s signature or veto.

Mayor Lightfoot said the pension legislation will lead to perpetual property tax increases.

Author(s): Mike Krauser

Publication Date: 19 February 2021

Publication Site: WBBM Chicago

Lightfoot urges Pritzker to veto firefighters pension bill



A bill that awaits Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature would boost pensions for about 2,200 active and retired firefighters, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants the governor to veto it. Sun-Times file photo

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is urging Gov. J.B. Pritzker to veto a bill boosting pensions for thousands of Chicago firefighters, arguing it would saddle beleaguered taxpayers with perpetual property tax increases and cripple a pension fund dangerously close to insolvency.

The bill, introduced by state Sen. Robert Martwick, D-Chicago, a Lightfoot political nemesis, passed in the waning hours of the lame duck session and awaits Pritzker’s signature or veto.

It removes the “birth date restriction” that prohibits roughly 2,200 active and retired firefighters born after Jan. 1, 1966 from receiving a 3% annual cost of living increase. Instead, they get half that amount, 1.5% — and it is not compounded.

Author(s): Fran Spielman

Publication Date: 18 February 2021

Publication Site: Chicago Sun-Times

The pension front



There’s really nothing to strongly disagree with. The city has routinely moved the birth date restriction, but it’s been done in a way that the costs are not funded, which pushes the fund closer to insolvency. This bill would essentially take that routine practice, make it official and force the city to finally pay for it.

Author(s): Rich Miller

Publication Date: 19 February 2021

Publication Site: Capitol Fax

Editorial | Legislative lunacy



When it comes to politics and government, Chicago is a force unto itself. Its strengths and weaknesses are, mostly, of its own making.

But the city was recently victimized by the General Assembly, and it’s important for the people of Illinois to know why. What happened speaks to a serious problem — a Legislature seemingly untethered to reality.


Unfortunately, state legislators voted during the recent lame-duck session to increase retirement benefits for 2,200 Chicago firefighters.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, as a newspaper headline put it, objected “strenuously” to the Legislature’s action.

She correctly described it as a “massive unfunded mandate to the taxpayers of Chicago at a time when there are no funds to cover this new obligation.”

Publication Date: 22 January 2021

Publication Site: The News-Gazette