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Bad news from Gov. Quinn: Illinois’ pension systems are kind of a trainwreck.

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/02/06/bad-news-from-gov-quinn-illinois-pension-systems-are-kind-of-a-trainwreck

From WSJ

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says he wants to create a ‘red-state model’ for the national Republican Party.

How? By turning Kansas into what he calls Exhibit A for how sharp cuts in taxes and government spending can generate jobs, wean residents off public aid and spur economic growth. …

Coming off the largest tax cut in state history on Jan. 1, Kansas is now on the leading edge of a growing but still largely untested quest among conservative governors to create growth by dramatically revamping state tax codes. …

The focus on fiscal innovations in the heartland comes as conservatives nationally seek ways to revive the GOP’s standing in the aftermath of its stinging election losses last year. Bruised by the continuing budget battles in Washington, where divided government has led to near-gridlock, top Republicans nationally are holding up Kansas and other GOP-dominated states as examples of what the party might accomplish if left to its own devices.

Illinois governor to bear grim news over pension crisis

http://news.yahoo.com/illinois-governor-bear-grim-news-over-pension-crisis-204320138.html

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, already the most unpopular governor in the nation, has his work cut out for him at his annual “state of the state” speech on Wednesday – and this time he probably won’t be relying on a python named “Squeezy.”

The fiscal crisis caused by pension underfunding in Illinois is so bad that some hospitals wait a year to be paid by the state for insurance claims.

At the same time, teachers in Chicago’s wealthy suburbs are retiring with six-figure salaries set by school districts on which pensions are calculated, and the state pays the bill. The benefits cannot be reduced, according to the state constitution.

Illinois’ pension systems are in the worst financial shape of any state at 39 percent funded when no less than 80 percent is considered healthy. State pensions are in the hole by the staggering amount of nearly $97 billion, or $20,000 per Illinois household and nearly four times the annual state revenue.

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