Friday, May 3, 2013
The Illinois House Thursday approved a controversial plan to eliminate the state's $100 billion pension debt; here's how DuPage County representatives voted.
The Illinois Senate may soon vote on House Speaker Michael Madigan’s pension reform plan that passed the House Thursday. The bill passed by a vote of 62-51 and seeks to eliminate the state’s $100 billion retirement system debt. Illinois ranks dead last in the nation when it comes to funding its public pension plan, according to WBEZ. The bill asks state workers for less in future cost-of-living increases, an increase in the retirement age for workers under the age of 46 and asks for more money to be taken from state employee paychecks. The bill may have difficulty making it through the Senate where Senate Leader John Cullerton supports a different plan that gives workers the option of pay increases or government-funded health care in …
Friday, January 11, 2013
Glenbard Township High School District 87 Superintendent David F. Larson shares his observations on pension reform. Glen Ellyn Patch welcomes letters and opinion pieces. E-mail Mary Ann Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pension Reform Observations As a new superintendent in Illinois, it has been intriguing watching the saga of the state's long-term troubled pension system. The following are a few observations from a newcomer’s perspective regarding the lessons to learn from our pension woes: Lesson One - Poor Stewardship Can Be Costly It is unfortunate that the consequence for the lack of political will and fiscal responsibility has been passed on to future generations. The current Legislature is tasked with fixing a system that commissions and task forces in previous decades had reported on. In 1973, one commission reported, "The pension obligation still remains almost wholly obscured or ignored by some public officials." The lack of collective …
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Glen Ellyn Patch welcomes letters to the editor. Letters may be submitted to Local Editor Mary Ann Lopez at email@example.com.
Tuesday, January 8
Dear Editor, I am a retired teacher with a vested interest in protecting the integrity of all publicly funded pensions. I am also extremely frustrated that there has been so little consideration of the real underlying problems our State faces: an unfair state income tax structure, an unwillingness to accept reality with regard to a sales tax on services, and an unrealistic repayment schedule for our pension debt. Illinois is one of only 7 states in the nation which employs a flat tax and, until the recently enacted temporary increase, at 3% for individuals was dead last in the rate imposed. Even now, at 5% (until 2015), we are not the most highly taxed of this group. A flat tax is inherently unfair: 83% of states with an income tax and …