ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – East St. Louis is grappling with an underfunded pension problem that could cost the city its entire budget.

While the city’s been paying $100 thousand a month to the police and fire pension funds for the past year, that’s not enough. The police pension fund alone needs $2 million a year. Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks addressed the problem during Thursday’s city council meeting.

“This is not a one year issue. It’s not a two year issue, it’s not a three year issue, it’s not a four year issue. It’s been going on for a long time. Now the hen has come home to roost,” she says.

The Belleville-News Democrat reports a state law enacted five years ago allows the comptroller to intercept up to two-thirds of a municipality’s budget per underfunded pension fund. That’s if the city can’t cover the costs through tax levies, casino revenues or other replacement taxes.

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