January 14, 1991 – January 11, 1999
January 12, 1981 – January 14, 1991
|Member of the |
James Edgar (born July 22, 1946) is an American politician who was the
In April 1979, Edgar resigned his state House seat to accept an appointment from Governor
During his second term, the relationship between his re-election campaign and Management Systems of Illinois (MSI) came under federal scrutiny. MSI, Edgar's largest campaign contributor, was granted a contract that cost an estimated $20 million in overcharges. Edgar was never accused of wrongdoing, but he testified twice, once in court and once by videotape, becoming the first sitting Illinois governor to take the witness stand in a criminal case in 75 years. In those appearances, the governor insisted political donations played no role in who received state contracts. Convictions were obtained against Management Services of Illinois; Michael Martin, who had been a partner of Management Services of Illinois, and Ronald Lowder, who had been a state welfare administrator and later worked for Management Services of Illinois.
Prior to 1981, the State of Illinois funded pensions on an "as-you-go" basis, making benefit payouts as they came due, with employee contributions and investment income funding a reserve to cover future payouts. This approach was stopped in 1982 due to strains on the Illinois budget, and state contributions remained flat between 1982 and 1995, resulting in underfunding of pensions by approximately $20 billion. To address this shortfall, the Illinois legislature, in 1994, passed and then-Governor Edgar signed Public Act 88-593, which set payments by the State of Illinois into the pension funds at only 90 percent of liabilities, stretched this funding level over 50 years until 2045, and back-loaded payments with a 15-year ramp. Unfortunately, the underfunding of pension reserves over the first fifteen years was not fiscally sound, and was the major cause of a large gap between the State's obligations to pay pension benefits and the funds available to pay those benefits. As Governor, Edgar signed the pension legislation into law, and for this reason, the initial underfunding of pensions became known as the "Edgar Ramp." The US Federal Securities and Exchange Commission described this analysis in a report.