Ill. Policy Institute: $85 Billion in the Red‏

From the Illinois Policy Institute…

My name is Ted Dabrowski, and I’m the Institute’s new Vice President of Policy.

During my first two months here I’ve rapidly engaged in the many challenges Illinois faces. I’m excited to work with all of you to implement policies that help Illinois return to prosperity.

But the path won’t be easy. Last week’s Standard & Poors downgrade of U.S. debt heaped additional scrutiny on the credit rating of states that are fiscally irresponsible. A credit rating consolidates a state’s policies, its financial health and overall outlook into a single rating. Unfortunately, Illinois shares the worst credit rating in the nation with the state of California.

But the situation will worsen. Recently, Moody’s Investors Service (the other major credit rating agency) began implementing a major change in how they calculate a state’s credit rating. Moody’s will now take into account how much each state owes to its retirement funds. Our newest policy report highlights this issue specifically. Read that report here.

For those of you who don’t know how much much Illinois has shortchanged its pension system over the past decades, it now exceeds $85 billion. That number alone dwarfs the rest of Illinois’s other debt.

Policymakers and citizens alike should take notice. Illinois’s credit ratings have been in a downward trajectory for the past few years. We need a new direction from our leaders and we need your engagement.

If you take only one thing away from this news, it should be the following: Reforming the broken pension system of Illinois is pivotal to securing your family’s future and saving the vital services that are so important to your community and Illinois’s future prosperity.


Ted Dabrowski
Vice President for Policy
Illinois Policy Institute

P.S. I look foward to meeting you in person soon. Feel free to contact me by phone at 312-346-5700 or by email

Kinzinger, Durbin Weigh in on Reforming Tax Code | Tillman, Ruder Debate Credit Impact:

What’s Happening with the Stock Market?
To say the least, the stock market has not reacted kindly to the debt ceiling agreement made in Washington and the subsequent lowering of our nation’s credit rating. Why is this happening and what does this mean going forward? John Tillman appeared on FOX Chicago earlier this week to address these important issues. Watch that video above.

Join Us at the State Fair
On August 17 and 18, we are going to be out in numbers at the State Fair in Springfield gathering signatures for our Repeal the Tax Hike Petition. Come on by to say hi or to help us collect more signatures! More information is available here.

Event: Heartland Institute Author Series
On Tuesday, Aug. 16, join our friends at the Heartland Institute as they host Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch of the Reason Foundation to discuss their new book, “The Declaration of Independents.” The event is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Jaks Tap (901 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60607). The cost to attend is $25, which includes food and drink. Click here to register.

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