by Ben VanMetre
Illinois Policy Institute
September 04, 2014
Skyrocketing retirement costs for Illinois’ state and local government workers are wreaking havoc on governments’ ability to provide core services such as public safety, education and infrastructure. States and cities across the nation continue to struggle with massive pension and health-care costs, which force residents to pay higher taxes and fees to receive diminished services. For decades, state and local governments hid the true amount of debt for which taxpayers are on the hook. Most reporting standards allowed governments to keep a majority of their debt off the books – including the total owed for government worker pensions and retiree health-care costs. But now that debt is coming due, and residents and watchdogs are demanding transparency.

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