Illinois Is Broke Campaign Travels to Bloomington to Spotlight State’s Fiscal Condition

Jun 16, 2010, 18:51 ET from The Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago

CHICAGO, June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Illinois Is Broke campaign begins a statewide tour tomorrow to call attention to the desperate nature of the State’s finances and to urge legislators and candidates to balance our State budget. The biggest issue facing our State is the $130 Billion of retiree-related liabilities, which equates to about $25,000 per Illinois household. The campaign calls for a multi-year plan to reform retiree programs.

The first stop on the tour will be Bloomington, where campaign members will meet with executives from the region’s largest employers and seek their support for the non-partisan campaign. The intent of the campaign is to unite people throughout the State who share a concern for the future of Illinois – its economy, the public services it provides, its business climate and its quality of life.

The Illinois Is Broke campaign was initiated by the Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago in early 2010. Participating in this first stop on the statewide tour will be Commercial Club Chairman W. James Farrell, former Chairman and CEO of Illinois Tool Works; Lester Crown, Chairman of Henry Crown and Company; Commercial Club President R. Eden Martin, former Chairman, Management Committee, Sidley Austin LLP; and Dea Meyer, Executive Vice President of the Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago.

According to a recent Pew Center on the States study, Illinois has the worst funded public pension system in the nation.

“This is the single biggest issue facing Illinois. These unfunded obligations for State employee retirement programs are coming due, and will crowd out social programs such as education or health care,” said Farrell. “It is imperative to bring people together from across this State so that our elected officials in Springfield will address the problem and stop heaping debt on the citizens of Illinois.”

More information on the Illinois Is Broke campaign can be found at:

SOURCE The Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago