Gov. Rauner Narrows Focus of Turnaround Agenda

Aug 24, 2016

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he’s narrowing his focus to fix the state’s political system…

Because he says there hasn’t been enough progress on other issues.

Governor Rauner has put aside his economic policy initiatives with the passage of a temporary state spending plan…and now says he has a few other issues to focus on.

"Let’s fix the political system first. How bout we start with that? How about we do term limits, fair maps and pensions? Simple. People get it. Politically popular. Doable."

The state Supreme Court is deciding whether redistricting reform can appear on November’s ballot.

Term limits can’t appear on the November ballot at this point.

And Rauner says he’s met with legislators on pensions...but spokesmen for Democratic leaders say Rauner’s not met with them about it yet.

Rauner's administration says a pending move by Illinois' largest public-pension fund could increase the state's required payment by hundreds of millions of dollars.

It says that would have a ``devastating impact'' on education and social services.

The Teachers Retirement System board is scheduled to vote Friday on whether to adjust its expected rate of return on investments.

The action comes as pension systems nationwide report lackluster returns. Analysts and rating agencies are pressuring them to lower assumptions to ensure there's enough money to pay benefits.

A retirement system spokesman says the recommended change and its potential impact won't be public until Friday.

Rauner's office says the lack of public discussion amid a budget crisis is ``troubling.''
Illinois has the worst-funded state pensions, with $111 billion in unfunded liabilities.