Ugaste interested in Ives' proposal for dealing with crushing debt
Dan Ugaste is interested in hearing more about the Local Government Bankruptcy Neutral Evaluation Act being proposed by Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton).
“I know Jeanne Ives is all about sound reasoning and well-thought-out logic and that’s what’s needed to deal with the problem of all the state’s debt,” Ugaste, a Geneva Republican running to replace retiring Rep. Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) in the 65th District, told the Metro East Sun. “My first suggestion to cities is look to reduce spending and be more efficient in just providing the basic necessities.”
Ives describes House Bill 5644 as legislation that “authorizes a local public entity to initiate a neutral evaluation process if that entity is unable to meet its financial obligations.”
It comes on the heels of the city of Harvey having its tax revenues garnished due to growing pension liabilities. By Ives estimation, there are at least 20 Illinois cities in need of immediate financial restructuring lest they run the increased risk of facing a fate similar to that suffered by Harvey, with most of the distress being caused by rising pension obligations.
In the case of Harvey, the city is reported to be tens of millions of dollars in debt in unfunded pension payments.
“Restructuring can take on many different meanings,” Ugaste added. “I don’t ever like the bankruptcy route, but we all know something has to happen for this state to get back on track.”
Anything short of that and Ugaste said the state runs the risk of collapsing under the weight of its massive debt.
“I don’t know what collapse may come to mean in any real way, but I do know people will continue to leave Illinois if we continue on this path,” Ugaste said.