Governor Quinn has proposed what he believes is a "fair" plan to resolve the pension issue in Illinois. Keep in mind that those who are required by the state to be on this program, teachers and others, have ALWAYS paid what they are supposed to pay to the program. In addition, they have been PROHIBITED from participating in Social Security. Meanwhile, the state, which has always PROMISED to fund the program, never has. The state has consistently redirected the funds to other things, choosing to either not fund at all or underfund the pension programs. Now that we're at the point where payment can no longer be deferred, Governor Quinn, Tom Cross, Mike Madigan and others are looking for a way for the state to get out of its commitment.
In this new plan, our governor wants the participants in the program to pay considerably more into the plan, work longer in order to receive benefits, receive fewer benefits when they do retire, and receive minimal cost of living adjustments in the future. In addition, he wants, over time, to shift the burden of paying for the plan to local school districts. When districts point out that they have no money now, that many are in deficit, etc., he naively suggests they "rebudget" or borrow from reserves. He also says that there should be no need for school districts to increase taxes. Is the man unable to read or listen to the news?????
As benefit, he says there would be new legal language requiring the state to pay its share of the funding. What a laugh!!! When has the law ever made any difference whatsoever to our state government. It's a frightening thought that as teachers and others pay into the programs, and districts are forced to contribute a significantly larger share, the state will continue to collect the money and manage the plan. If this happens, just look for them to find a way to "borrow" from the funds for things they want to do, and then at some point down the road, say the pension programs are underfunded and blame the greedy teachers and others.
You CANNOT TRUST ANYTHING OUR STATE GOVERNMENT PROMISES!!! With regard to pension programs, they have lied from day 1, and I have no reason to believe the lies won't continue. Illinois is noted for government corruption, ranking among the worst states in the country. Do you really believe, then, that what they tell you is the truth? One thing is for sure: Illinois is NOT a state where any competent, qualified teacher should plan to work. Illinois does NOT support education, does NOT support teachers, and, frankly, does NOT support its own citizens. Is it any wonder, then, that Illinois is becoming less and less desirable as a place to live?