Republican legislative leaders say you can’t keep throwing money at the under-funded public pension system and expect problems to go away. Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) says the public pension system must be reformed. She isn’t thrilled with a bill introduced in the House that would extend a temporary income tax in order to pay down the state’s pension backlog.
Click here for summary
“To just take that money now and direct it to pensions, I think is a betrayal of the trust of what was said at the time, and then secondly, if there’s an extension, what’s to say it shouldn’t be for education, for transportation, for public safety? I mean there are a lot of needs in this state, so to not reform the pension system and continue to throw more money at it I think is an inappropriate approach,”Radogno said.
House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) says the vast majority of Illinois residents wouldn’t agree with extending the temporary tax for what could be decades. “I don’t think the general public is in the mood to extend what allegedly was a temporary tax increase on a permanent basis to solve a pension problem,” Cross said.
Radogno and Cross say they remain flexible in coming up with a pension solution but say any plan must include benefit reforms. There are several pension reform proposals out there from both chambers and both parties.