Illinois lawmakers returning to Springfield Monday from Thanksgiving weekend are being expected to digest a 325 page Illinois public pension $100 billion shortfall "fix" for a vote on Tuesday. By all means, lets create a massive comprehensive bill over a holiday weekend and ram it thru without time to read the bill. Have we seen this movie before?
Some of the details of the bill include the following, along with my critique:
Illinois would contribute $364 million to the public pension fund in FY 2019 and $1 billion annually thereafter through 2045, or until the system becomes fully funded.
The bill does not indicate WHERE the money is coming from, thus I think we can assume that in 2019, they expect the next administration to simply raise taxes again for this, or a combination of taxes, tolls and other state fees to come up with the total. I guess they don't think anyone is paying attention, or don't care. After all, they just doubled our state taxes back in January, so why not do it again? At a minimum, the above provision should have the following phrase added: "The State contributions shall be made solely by cutting other costs and shall not have any cost to the taxpayer."
Illinois pension systems could not use pension funds to pay healthcare costs.
That should be changed to: "Pension funds shall be kept separate from the general funds and cannot be used for anything else besides pensions. Pension funds also cannot be borrowed against nor used for any political campaign contributions."
Workers would see a 1 percent decrease in their required pension contributions.
Okay, that is not helping anything. That should be changed to read: "Workers shall see a 1 percent INCREASE in their required pension contributions."
The retirement age for public workers who are currently aged 45 and under would gradually increase.
This should be changed to "retirement age for all public workers shall IMMEDIATELY be increased to age 65. Public workers shall not be eligible to receive pension benefits prior to retirement age."
There are many other woes in the pension system which are not addressed at all, one of which should include prohibiting state workers from having the ability to collect two pensions concurrently.
This bill is either not thought out at all, or omissions have been made purposely to keep the democrat gravy train rolling.
Illinois republicans who support this garbage should be thrown out on their ear in the next election. I will be watching and taking names.