ALTON In an effort to promote fiscal responsibility and to stabilize pensions for retired police officers and firefighters, state Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Alton, supported legislation to bring statewide pension reform that will save taxpayer money across the state while protecting the retirements of first responders.

“Our police and firefighters risk their lives for us on a daily basis, and they deserve the peace of mind that they will have a secure retirement, after all, they do to keep us safe,” said Bristow. “It is clear that Illinois needs to make changes to the pension system to ensure the costs of pension mismanagement does not continue to fall to Illinois taxpayer or jeopardize the pensions of those who have done their part and paid into the system to have a retirement.”

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The Bristow supported legislation, Senate Bill 1300, combines the assets and management of more than 650 different fire and police pension systems in Illinois into two funds for both firefighters and police officers. The bipartisan reform is estimated to bring increased investment returns for first responders and stabilize pension payments. The legislation also works to reduce local administrative costs to help lower property taxes for homeowners. The measure received largely bipartisan support and was backed by the Illinois Municipal League, the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois and the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police. The Bristow backed legislation passed both the House and the Senate with strong bipartisan support and was recently signed into law.

“Consolidating the assets of the more than 650 downstate public safety pension funds throughout Illinois will help provide stronger investment returns for active and retired public safety employees and reduce redundant administrative costs on Illinois’ taxpayers,” said Illinois Municipal League Executive Director Brad Cole. “This is a good first step forward on the complicated and comprehensive issue of pension reform.”

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