Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Illinois Turns Warily to Bonds to Plug $134 Billion Pension Hole

  • Governor’s administration sees tactic as way to bolster funds
  • Vow to learn from missteps after record bond sale in 2003
Video player cover image
Illinois Pension Liabilities Add to State's $3.2 Billion Deficit
Updated on

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is taking a page out of his predecessors’ pension-fund playbook -- and he’s trying to learn from their mistakes.

The Democrat’s budget plans Wednesday proposed selling $2 billion of bonds to inject cash into the state’s retirement system, a tactic tried in 2003 that failed to stop the swelling pension-fund debt that’s pushed Illinois’s credit-rating to the cusp of junk. But his deputy governor, Dan Hynes, said it won’t be a way for the government to shirk its annual contributions to the funds, as happened after Governor Rod Blagojevich’s record $10 billion debt sale sixteen years ago.