Editorial | Rotten holiday

If Illinois is going to embrace another public-pension-contribution holiday, shouldn’t the public be informed of what the financial consequences will be?

There’s no reason anyone should have thought that new Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker would propose some kind of magic-bullet budget proposal as part of his 2019-20 plan.

After all, Pritzker is confronting the same problem that Illinois governors have encountered going back to the early 2000s — he and legislators are determined to spend more than the state has.

That’s why he proposed, as a big part of his $39 billion spending plan, diverting $838 million that was to be used for public-pension contributions to support other spending plans.

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Officers tell of deciding to get help

Chicago police Officer Cory Chapton says he finished work one day around 2 p.m., got into his car outside the West Side’s Harrison District station and sat in the parking lot for hour after hour “contemplating how do I get rid of this pain?”

He thought about ending his suffering as the afternoon stretched into the evening and then into the following morning. It wasn’t until 5 a.m. that he drove off. Fifteen hours had passed.

“I’m done. I’m tired. I don’t want to deal with this no more,” Chapton recounts in a new video produced by the Chicago Police Department. “You get to that point that,” he says, pausing for several seconds, “just end it all. Forget it.”

Superintendent Eddie Johnson; his predecessor, John Escalante; and Tina Skahill, formerly one of the department’s highest-ranking black women, joined Chapton in going public with the emotional struggles they encountered before mustering the courage to seek help.

The video, produced as part of a series aimed at encouraging officers to seek mental health support, comes as the department confronts a cluster of seven officer suicides since July.

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Pew: Hawaii’s State Pension Ready to Withstand Recession

Two years after initiating pension reforms that included increased contributions and regular stress testing, the funding projections for Hawaii’s state retirement system are on a “better trajectory,” according to a report from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Pew said it independently examined Hawaii’s stress testing analysis and found the increased pension contributions required by the 2017 reforms should protect the system from insolvency.

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