Michigan School Pension Fund Liability Grows to $26.5 Billion

By Tom Gantert, Michigan Capitol Confidential

The unfunded liability of the Michigan public school pension system increased from $25.8 billion to $26.5 billion from 2013 to 2014, according to an actuarial report released in May. The system’s growing costs have been called a “budget killer” and are taking an increasing amount from the funding Michigan devotes to schools.

The Public Pension Funding Trap

By Andrew Biggs, The Wall Street Journal

State and local government pensions were national news during the recession, as unfunded liabilities rose into the trillions of dollars and overheated commentators predicted that rising pension costs could push governments into bankruptcy.

At Last, Scrutiny for Public-Union Deals

By Matthew J. Brouillette, The Wall Street Journal

If you’ve ever spent hundreds on a smartphone or thousands on a new car, you know what it’s like to hunt for the best deal. Yet when paying for state and local government services worth billions, Americans often hand politicians a blank check without ever knowing if they could get more for their money.

Bad news coming for state union workers

By Scott Reeder, Northwest Herald

Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.

Government worker unions had their hopes fulfilled Friday when the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously ruled public employee pension benefits cannot be cut.

Forced Unionism Swells Citizens’ Debt Burden

The National Right to Work Committee

A recent report by State Budget Solutions (SBS) adds to the evidence that government union officials empowered with monopoly-bargaining and forced-dues privileges routinely wield them to jack up governments’ long-term spending commitments.

Illinois Pension Blowup

The Wall Street Journal

The Constitution is not a suicide pact—except maybe in Illinois. On Friday the Illinois Supreme Court struck down modest pension reforms as a violation of the state constitution in a decision that tees up state taxpayers for years of tax increases.

New Jersey panel proposes major pension overhaul

By Alicia Munnell, Market Watch

The day after a New Jersey judge ruled that Governor Christie must make up $1.57 billion in pension underfunding, the governor’s commission to study New Jersey’s pension system proposed a complete overhaul of the state’s pensions.

Public Pension Fight: Unions Win, Budget Woes Remain

By Andrea Riquier, Investor’s Business Daily

Is public pension reform dead? Defined benefits for public sector workers, which make up a large and growing portion of many stretched municipal budgets, have been on full display in many recent high-profile cases, with mixed messages for the future of reform.