“…In the last 10 years, pension costs have risen to $7.5 billion in 2013 from $1.6 billion in 2003. This year's pension costs will consume approximately 22 percent of the general funds budget, up from 7 percent 10 years ago. And it is projected to rise rapidly in coming years.
The House’s “three major reform [bills]” (HB 1154, HB 1165 and HB 1166) are an attempt to slash public employees’ retirement salaries and earnings and raise the retirement age while concealing the salient causes of the state’s financial mess. A call to all state representatives and senators to “collectively recognize the enormous fiscal challenge [that] pension debt is presenting” in the Chicago Tribune is a devious and irresponsible appeal to break a constitutional contract with the state’s public servants and retirees and perpetuate more legislative theft.