Bob Rita, has to much on his plate.Editorial: Some pols say no to pensions
'Politicians got perks and regular people can't pay for it.'
July 12, 2013
Breaking news: Illinois pols vote to eliminate their pensions!
Perhaps we should put that in bold type.
We're not talking about the Springfield crowd. We're talking about the Oak Lawn village board, which recently did away with pension benefits for the mayor and the six trustees.(Yes, they were eligible).
The pensions didn't cost village taxpayers much, considering trustees earn less than $10,000 a year. But that's not the point. To their credit, the leaders of Oak Lawn recognized that they didn't need or deserve a pension and they did something about it.
"It's ridiculous that part-time politicians have that benefit. Ridiculous," newly elected Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury said. "In my opinion, that's how we got in trouble. Politicians got perks and regular people can't pay for it."
Local government workers belong to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, one of the better-funded pension systems in the state. Unlike state government, local governments are required to make full payments into the fund each year. IMRF is separate from the state pension plans that are drastically underfunded and dragging down the state's credit rating.
Subsidizing the retirements of part-time politicians — any part-time public employees — shouldn't be taxpayers' responsibility. Politicians and part-time workers in townships, counties and school districts, as well as political appointees serving on public transit and planning boards, should not be eligible for a public pension.
A bill eliminating pensions for future board members at Metra, Pace Suburban Bus Service, the Regional Transportation Authority and the Chicago Transit Authority awaits a signature from Gov. Pat Quinn.
Let's go. Grab your pen, governor. While you're at it, urge lawmakers to pass a bill eliminating the pensions for their part-time jobs.
We know, we know. Many lawmakers say they work full time representing their districts. But their schedule simply doesn't allow for a tailored definition. Lawmakers are in session only a few months of the year with an acutely relaxed summer and fall schedule. And by acute, we mean really indulgent.
For that modest work, they are rewarded with comfortable retirements. And by comfortable, we mean extravagant.
As the Tribune reported last year, several former legislators pull down more than $100,000 a year in state pensions. The list is led by former state Sen. Art Berman, who gets more than $200,000 a year. Some of them bumped up their pension payouts by taking high-paying government jobs for a brief time after leaving the legislature.
And remember: They're eligible for annual, compounded cost-of-living increases.
So, residents of Oak Lawn: Give your mayor and trustees a hand.
Residents in every other suburb: You ought to ask if your part-time local officials are racking up pension benefits.
And once more with feeling: Illinois legislators, you are the key to reforming the vast and staggeringly underfunded public pension system in this state. Quit whining that Gov. Pat Quinn is trying to cut off your paychecks, and get the job done.
#43 Jul 12, 2013
#44 Sep 22, 2013
O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife,
When once or twice, for man's avail,
Men lavished precious life!
God shed His grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain,
The banner of the free!
#45 Sep 22, 2013
Yes Governor Pat Quinn is a very Honorable Man. Please, Governor Quinn, put a stop to this Greed of double and triple dipping. The 28th District is suffering greatly from unemployment. It does not look good, that State Rep Rita is feeding from so many public troughs.
#46 Apr 5, 2014
I have some questions for Gov. Pat Quinn regarding his budget and the income tax increase.
If he truly wants to fund education equally, then why not eliminate the use of property taxes to fund education and use the income tax to fund a set amount for every student in the state?
Let's be real: A $500 credit in the New Trier district is not the same as a $500 credit in Decatur.
What happened to all the money collected from the tax increase?
The state has still not paid its bills, still has not balanced its budget and still has not funded its pensions.
Quinn and his friends in the legislature promised all of that.
How does early education equate to better education down the line? Empirical evidence indicates that any benefit is lost by third grade.
And, as we taxpayers would expect, Illinois will probably take money from the existing education budget to pay for this, a de facto cut in existing education programs.
Quinn needs to clean up the mess in Springfield, live within the revenues generated by the original income tax and fix the pension mess, starting with making retirement ages the same as in the private sector. Then he can come back to the taxpayers of this state and ask for "new" programs.
— Brian Varley,
#47 Apr 5, 2014
Quinn, Madigan, party members, and cronies are responsible for their own mess. They failed to follow their own plan and the results of their failed plan; has severely harmed the state and taxpayers. Current risks the party proposes threaten the very taxpayers they were elected to serve. They are very good at getting elected and excel at failing the public.
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