Downstate Illinois citizens should not have to pay for Chicago teachers’ pensions

Illinois is 50th, the worst-run state. Illinois debt is $1.4 billion. Gov. Pat Quinn’s temporary income tax raise expired Dec. 31, 2014. From the Wisconsin State Journal, dateline Madison, Dec. 17, 2014: Nonpartisan Wisconsin Taxpayers’ Alliance: “Illinois was the highest taxed state in the upper Midwest at 11.7 percent of personal income and the highest nationwide.” Many are jobless and hungry. Revenue is down. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled the state has authority to borrow from special funds to pay down bills. It’s rumored the legislature may rescue the Chicago Teachers’ Union pension fund. The Illinois Constitution specifies that group is independent of the Illinois Public Employees’ pension funds. As a constitutionally-independent fund, the CTU does not share in the Illinois Teachers’ pension fund. We, the people of downstate, northern and stateline Illinois, aren’t obligated to bail out the independent, exclusive CTU pension fund. We also have neither the populace nor the monies to do that. Back off, Chicago!

From the Rockford Register-Star, dateline Chicago, Dec. 31, 2012: Sara Bennett (AP) quoted Anders Lindwell, AFSCME spokesman, on the Illinois pension disaster: “For decades they had a choice of raising adequate revenue or cutting back on spending. They found a third way, and that third way was habitually using pension funds like a credit card.” Elected state, Chicago and union leaders raided pension funds. If they can begin to resolve these disasters with integrity, it would restore citizens’ trust in elected officials. Please!

Judy Cadwalder

From the Feb. 4-10, 2015, issue

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