Governor Rauner Nixes Mayor Emanuel’s Pension Funding Bill

Rahm Emanuel, former White House Chief of Staff (2009-2010), Mayor of Chicago since 2011
Rahm Emanuel, former White House Chief of Staff (2009-2010), Mayor of Chicago since 2011

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel received an answer of “no” to his request to pass a bill which would have helped fund pensions for the city’s police and firemen.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner said that Emanuel’s plan did not include cost-cutting savings. He said the bill would force the city taxpayers to pay more in the long run.

“Borrowing billions against taxpayers is not the solution,” Rauner said.

But for now the veto will remove $220 million from the city’s budget. The mayor might have to raise property taxes on Chicago residents to make up the deficit. Some critics of the governor say he squashed the plan as much for political reasons and economic. They say that Republican Rauner would like to have some power of Democrats in upcoming fights over budgeting, taxes and the pro-business, anti-union changes the governor is after.

The bill the governor vetoed would have covered the cost of contributions to the Policemen’s and Firemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund.

“The cost to Chicago’s taxpayers of kicking this can down the road is truly staggering,” Rauner said in the statement. “Chicago is borrowing against its taxpayers to the tune of $18.6 billion. This practice has to stop. If we continue, we’ve learned nothing from our past mistakes.”

Emanuel replied: “With a stroke of his pen, Bruce Rauner just told every Chicago taxpayer to take a hike. Bruce Rauner ran for office promising to shake up Springfield, but all he’s doing is shaking down Chicago residents, forcing an unnecessary $300 million property tax increase on them and using them as pawns in his failed political agenda.”