Promises made by well-meaning senators and state representatives in good times have proven to be disastrous in today’s stark reality. This is the state’s responsibility and shifting costs locally would be a terrible double whammy to my tax-capped counties. We must craft a stable system that rights the state’s ship and still treats people with dignity. I have yet to see a long-term solution that addresses this completely, and continue to work locally to create additional legislation that responds in a balanced fashion. I’m extremely frustrated that the legislature has not been called to the Capitol to work on pensions this summer. There is no reason that pension issues could not be resolved before November 6; legislators should be thinking less about their reelection and more about the people of Illinois. We were sent to Springfield to find answers, not avoid tough decisions. I support a plan that addresses ALL the pension systems and does not just cherry-pick the easy ones.
Illinois must honor its current pension obligations, but make modifications for future employees. The issue of pensions should be solved as soon as possible in a bipartisan effort to ease our state’s financial crisis. Illinois must close the loopholes that are allowing people to receive pensions who simply do not deserve them. Illinois must work to stop any form of pension abuse.
I do not believe that the pension costs should be shifted to suburban school districts. Many school districts are having financial hardships and cannot afford to spend anymore. Shifting the burden to suburban school districts will take away educational resources from the students and could increase property taxes.