Another ding against Chicago’s financial status.
Moody’s Investor Service has downgraded the city’s credit rating.
It points to the pension and debt problems for its decision.
Only Detroit has a lower rating.
Fiscal hawks on the Chicago City Council reacted to the downgrade. Chicago’s massive bond-funded pension liability is the primary underlying reason for the downgrade.
But many on the City Council are wondering when city leaders will take up this issue.
“We’re not going to talk about it here today,” said 2nd Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti. “We haven’t talked about it here in quite awhile. The solutions have to come from here and I don’t see Springfield acting on it right now. And if they do, who knows where it will be a year from now. So, the question is what needs to be done and where are the sources of revenue going to come from? We need to engage all of the people in the city of Chicago, all the stakeholders, in this discussion.”
Ald. Fioretti says it’s time for the City Council to tackle the issue of unfunded pensions.
He’s worried about Chicago’s skyrocketing overtime pay due to the record winter and other costs that keep piling up.
He says that Chicago can’t rely on state legislators to bail them out.
In other news, a victory for City Clerk Susana Mendoza. Aldermen unanimously passed a ban on the so-called puppy mill sales in Chicago.
Sales of commercially produced dogs, cats and rabbits will be banned in the city.
Retail sales of pets would be limited to those animals that come from shelters and humane adoption centers.
But there are some differences of opinion on the effectiveness of the new ban.
“I’m concerned that we might only be pushing this issue to the suburbs,” said 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly, who co-sponsored the ordinance. “These sales will continue in Evanston and right across the border.”
Several aldermen also called on Chicago airlines to suspend all passenger and freight service to Russia, as a protest to what has been happening in Ukraine.