February 19th, 2020
Taxpayers Oppose Pension-Millionaires-Bill HB 1702
CHICAGO—The president of Illinois’ largest taxpayer organization yesterday urged State Senators to oppose the House Bill 1702 amendment, sponsored by St. Sen. Don Harmon (D-39, Oak Park), which would add more categories of retired state employees to a special pension formula originally reserved for law enforcement personnel.
“The state’s ‘alternative pension formula’ was created for law enforcement personnel,” said Jim Tobin, President of National Taxpayers United of Illinois (NTUI). “Purportedly because of the danger and stress of law enforcement, the current alternative pension formula allows them to retire with 25 years of service at age 50, receiving up to 80% of their salary, and annual cost of living increases. Under this formula, over a normal lifespan, the retired government employee often receives over $1 million in total pension benefits.”
“Now, Sen. Harmon would add tollway employees, state auto mechanics and body shop workers, sign hangers and tollway messengers to the formula. This bill would be hilarious if it weren’t for the blatant waste of taxpayer dollars. The state can’t afford this flagrant waste of money. It currently has $42 billion in unfunded pensions.”
“During a normal lifetime, these retired state government employees would receive over one million dollars in pension benefits for hanging signs or tuning cars. This bill is a scandal!”
“Yesterday I contacted members of the State Senate and urged them to vote ‘No’ on HB 1702. This bill is one of the most egregious attempts to waste taxpayer dollars.”