A state representative is trying to get rid of the publicly funded pension for a position for which he’s running.
State Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, added an amendment to a state Senate bill that would ban all future county board members from applying for pensions through the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, or IMRF. Franks is also the Democratic nominee for McHenry County Board chairman. Currently, county workers are eligible for a pension if they work at least 1,000 hours annually. Franks said the pension benefits these board members receive aren’t fair to the taxpayers funding them.
“I’m going to end the practice of part-time elected officials getting full-time pension benefits,” Franks said. “It’s rotten what happening here in Illinois, especially in McHenry County where I live. We have some of the highest property taxes in the entire nation.”
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Franks learned that most counties don’t have any pensioners collecting from IMRF.
“McHenry County, my county, had 24 [IMRF members], a huge outlier over every other county. Out of those 24, 18 were county board members,” Franks said.
Franks said the board members were out of state for months at a time, putting in much less than the required hours.
“Some of these folks who were claiming they worked a thousand hours were in Florida three or four months a year,” he said.
McHenry County Board member Michael Walkup is Franks’ opponent for the county board chair seat. Walkup told a local newspaper that Franks’ legislation is a political ploy.