Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich proposed using proceeds from selling surplus state-owned property and a riverboat gaming license to help pay down the state's nearly $40 billion in pension liabilities, according to details of his 2007 budget, released Wednesday. The budget also proposes incentives for state workers to delay retirement. Becky Carroll, spokeswoman for the governor's office of management and budget, was not available for comment at press time.
The state's five pension systems were underfunded by a total of $38.7 billion as of June 30, according to a December 2005 report by the state's commission on government forecasting and accountability. The funds had total assets of $59.4 billion. The state's contribution to the funds will total $1.4 billion for fiscal 2006, which ends June 30.