ON-Lion Letter
"According to local government annual finance reports," a September Wisconsin Policy Research Institute study finds, "27 local governments in Wisconsin are saddled with a combined $6 billion unfunded liability to pay for 'Other Postemployment Benefits' (OPEB).

"Often times, as part of their employment packages, local governments offer to pay health benefits for retired employees," continues the WPRI report, "Government Retiree Health Benefits:  Wisconsin's Ticking Time Bomb," by Christian Schneider.  "Until now, local governments paid what they owed on a year-to-year basis.  But new accounting rules require local governments to divulge the level of their long-term benefit liability."

Schneider, a WPRI fellow, spent eight years working for the Wisconsin state legislature.
"[I]n some cases," he writes, "the local government OPEB liabilities are stunning -- in some cases, dwarfing the government’s total annual budget."

Wisconsin's largest total unfunded OPEB liabilities are concentrated in the southeast part of the state.  The Milwaukee Public Schools system carries a $2.2 billion OPEB liability, followed by Milwaukee County at $1.5 billion and the City of Milwaukee at $806.3 million.
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports the
Thiensville-based WPRI.
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