A free market think tank says it has a way to cut Illinois’ budget by $7 billion. The non-partisan Illinois Policy Institute is suggesting cost-saving measures that have come up before and have some political backing. For example, IPI chief John Tillman says school districts, not the state, should pay the employer’s share for their teachers’ pensions.
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It’s an issue that the governor has talked about recently and has the potential to save the state $800 million. Another example of the state realizing savings comes with state retirees’ health care plans, currently funded by that state. Tillman says those retired workers should be footing that bill. The Senate president has talked about retired state workers contributing more than they do now. Tillman says the potential is there to save $425 million. Other reforms released in the IPI’s report “Budget Solutions 2013” include reducing state workers’ salaries by 10 percent, Medicaid reform, implementing competitive grant funding, reducing cost-of-living adjustments for retired government workers, setting realistic spending caps and refocusing human services on core needs.