Letter to the Editor: Shifting Cost of Teachers’ Pensions is Not Pension Reform
Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) says Madigan’s plan should “scare the daylights out of suburban property taxpayers.”
Speaker Madigan’s continued push for shifting the costs of teachers’ pensions onto local schools should scare the daylights out of suburban property taxpayers.
Under the guise of “pension reform,” Madigan and Governor Quinn will shift hundreds of millions in pension costs to local schools -- forcing massive cuts or property tax increases onto suburban and downstate homeowners.
It makes sense for schools to have “skin in the game,” but pension benefits are set by the Illinois General Assembly. To allow politicians in Springfield to set the benefits – but send the bill to suburban property taxpayers is a recipe for disaster.
Illinois desperately needs public employee pension reform. But we cannot allow decades of mismanagement to be shoved onto the suburban and downstate property taxpayers and call it “reform.”
Chicago property taxpayers do pay for Chicago Public School benefits. But Chicago is also the beneficiary of state funding not available to suburban and downstate school systems. CPS still faces its challenges – including paying for the contract which settled its first strike in 25 years.
The pension cost shift being pushed by Pat Quinn, Mike Madigan, John Cullerton and their Democrat allies in the House and Senate will ease the pension burden on the state – freeing up cash to pay for more spending.
But it shouldn’t come from downstate and suburban property taxpayers.
- Christine Radogno
Senate Republican Leader