Poshard supports pension plan

2013-06-16T07:00:00Z 2013-09-12T13:30:55Z Poshard supports pension planBY GARY METRO, The Southern The Southern
June 16, 2013 7:00 am  • 

Legislation resolving the state’s public university and community college pension debt could to be used as a model for reforming all state public employee pension plans and eliminating a nearly $100 billion debt over 30 years, SIU President Glenn Poshard said Saturday.

Poshard said Senate President John Cullerton would present a plan from the state’s public university presidents, created by the Institute for Government & Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, to the Senate executive committee Tuesday. It would then be heard by the full Senate in Wednesday’s General Assembly special session and, if passed, move to the House.

Poshard was optimistic about the potential of the plan passing the House and being signed by Gov. Pat Quinn. It grew out of an early meeting with Quinn, has the support of Cullerton and addresses key pension reform objectives of House Speaker Mike Madigan, Poshard said.

“Gov. Quinn encouraged the university presidents to get involved. We’ve met with Madigan and Cullerton. We’ve met with the higher education committees,” Poshard said. “We believe it’s a totally reasonable bill. It’s going to solve what the leaders are looking for and it’s better than gridlock.”

The bill addresses the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) portion of the state’s spiraling pension debt, the worst in the nation and the cause of recent credit downgrades sustained by the state. Poshard said the unfunded pension debt linked to SURS is 25 percent of the state’s total pension debt. The total state pension debt is a nearly $100 billion sea of red ink that grows by $17 million per day.

An effort is being made by the university presidents in advance of the special session to explain the potential of the SURS reform plan as a model for all state public employee pension plans. Poshard said the group met Friday with the editorial board of the Chicago Sun-Times and coverage was expected in the Sunday issue.

Documents explaining the proposal were provided to The Southern by Poshard, who said the choices that would be presented to public employees would protect the reform package from being successfully challenged as unconstitutional.

In brief, the plan would:

• Change the annual Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) for future retirees from a guaranteed compounded rate of 3 percent annually to a yield that is linked to the actual inflation rate – which would deliver higher yields in periods of high inflation, lower yields in periods of low inflation. “The COLA is the biggest driving force in the state’s inability to solve the pension problem,” Poshard said.

• Shift the state’s 11 percent share of SURS pension contribution to the state’s public universities and colleges over 12 years. If used as a model for all the state’s public pension plans, the cost shift to local governments would be softened by guarantees of stable funding that would minimize or eliminate property tax hikes. “If you guarantee them at least level funding, not cutting their funding every year, why do you need a property tax increase?” Poshard said.

• Require employees to contribute an additional .05 percent towards pension cost each year over four years, increasing the annual contribution from 8 percent to 10 percent.

• Obligate the state by written contract to make full pension contributions annually or the pension system of any of its members would be able to take legal action to compel the state to make the specified payment.

• Allow new employees to participate in a hybrid pension plan comprising a defined benefit and an individual defined contribution portion that resembles the 401 (k) plans common to the private sector. Poshard said employees would be able to decide if they wanted to take on greater risk for the potential of greater reward.

Poshard acknowledged there will be employee concerns about the increased contribution and their specific choices, as well as fears about shifting costs to the local level. But the pension debt is increasing too rapidly to ignore and has the potential to collapse all of the state’s public employee pension plans, he said.

The basic, broad principles of the SURS reform plan could be applied to any of the state plans, and then tweaked to meet specific concerns, Poshard said.

“It could work,” he said. “But the other pensions each have different, specific concerns that would have to be worked out, given the peculiarities of their respective systems.”

gary.metro@thesouthern.com

618-351-5033

Copyright 2015 The Southern. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(37) Comments

  1. nonpartisan
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    nonpartisan - June 18, 2013 1:59 pm
    "...for each year a SURS member delays retirement beyond July 1, 2013, his/her starting pension annuity under the money purchase formula will be around 2.5% lower."

    Not true, since each year will increase value of his account under the MP formula, or add 1 year of service that automatically increases the standard pension by 2.2%, in both cases not even taking into account pay rises.
  2. former Illinoisan
    Report Abuse
    former Illinoisan - June 18, 2013 11:44 am
    This article is VERY misleading on the so-called "cola" increases. The actual bill (SB 2591) calls for the 3% automatic annual increase to be replaced by ONE HALF of the increase in the CPI-U each year. As a Finance professor I have done a fairly thorough analysis: the bill contains massive benefit cuts to Tier 1 retirees, and even more draconian cuts for those 5-15 years from retirement. The diminishments in the bill are even more extreme for many SURS members than those in Madigan's Bill. It is shocking and outrageous that university presidents like Poshard would support this.

    The relatively easy part to understand is that SB 2591 drastically reduces the 3% automatic annual increase for retirees - based on the current 2.12% breakeven inflation rate between ordinary 30-year U.S. Treasury Bonds and 30-year TIPS bonds that are indexed to the CPI-U, and given that the legislation calls for an AAI equal to 1/2 of the increase in the CPI-U, the expected AAI going forward would be reduced to 1.06% annually. In my case, this provision reduces the present value of my expected future pension benefits (making standard actuarial assumptions used by SURS) by 16.7%.

    Another provision in the bill that is far more complex is its reduction of the effective rate of interest (ERI) under the money purchase formula going forward, from 6.75% currently (as certified by the State Comptroller for FY2014) to 4.03% for FY 2014 (3.28% yield on 30-year Treasury Bonds currently + 0.75%). Under the current pension code, the ERI is loosely determined by historical and expected future returns on SURS investments. If reductions in the ERI in future years are similar (and there is every reason to believe they will be because 70% of SURS investments are in stocks, and historically stocks have earned returns at least 3-4% per year higher, on average, than bonds) then for each year a SURS member delays retirement beyond July 1, 2013, his/her starting pension annuity under the money purchase formula will be around 2.5% lower. Compound this out 10-15 years and you easily get diminishments in the 20-30% range for many SURS members, on top of the diminishments caused by the reduction in the AAI.
  3. Diogenes
    Report Abuse
    Diogenes - June 17, 2013 8:48 pm
    I hope your daughter chalks this one up to tuition in the school of life and moves on to a better job Joe. Ate at McAlisters once and was unimpressed, now I'm even more unimpressed. A waitperson has to darn near sneeze on my food for me not to give them $5 or better, usually 15% plus. I like to eat a 17th Street and I bet they don't take their employees tips.
  4. MMike
    Report Abuse
    MMike - June 17, 2013 8:09 pm
    Well one Mike is a good as another I guess! Good luck to your daughter. It's a life lesson in any case. Maybe she should start a union! ;-)
  5. OLD JOE
    Report Abuse
    OLD JOE - June 17, 2013 6:51 pm
    I ask my daughter if McAlisters Deli in Marion was self service or full service, she said full service. Her pay in $8,25 per hour, plus tips if you use your personal car to deliver.
    She has told customers at the table she can't keep the tips, so please don't tip. Said many customers gets angry when they learn their tip is not going to the employee, but to an unknown charity that they may not support.

    In an earlier comment you said get active. You don't know how active I have been lol. Before I made a comment here, I just ask Mike Huckabee to do a story on McAlisters and explained to him why.
  6. MMike
    Report Abuse
    MMike - June 17, 2013 6:00 pm
    Hey Joe,

    I am not certain but here might be the issue. McAlister employees do not actually wait on tables. If they are paid the non-tip minimum wage they cannot accept tips unless they pay the full income tax on them. If they take tips regularly and don't report them, and McAlister knows this, the IRS could be very unhappy. I think it should say on her pay stub if she is a tipped employee and if tips are being reported. If she is a tipped employee that money is hers. If not it is tricky. If customers think there are giving tips but really they are giving to an unknown charity that is very flakey. The money should go to the employees, but they would need to pay taxes on it. It may be that the "tip box" is not clearly labeled. It should be. You might find out more by calling here:

    http://www.illinois.gov/idol/Pages/contact.aspx

    You might have to call a couple of offices before getting to the one that can answer your question.

    I'd be real concerned that her manager is BSing them and just taking the money home - or to the casino.

    Check this out: http://www.nola.com/business/index.ssf/2010/03/mcalisters_employees_file_suit.html

  7. OLD JOE
    Report Abuse
    OLD JOE - June 17, 2013 5:30 pm
    MMike this is off subject, but your pretty smart, Maybe you can figure this out for me? My youngest daughter works for McAlister's Deli in Marion. Soon coming to Carbondale to.
    McAlister's has a nation wide policy employees doesn't get to keep their tips. All tips is donated to charity, and only the corporate office knows what charity.
    Maybe Al-Qaeda? Who known, the Deli manager doesn't know.
    When I donate to a charity it's tax deductible. McAlisters employees doesn't get that option of a tax write off or a choice of charity their tips go to.

    Something sounds fishy to me! I found on the internet a couple of year ago a class action lawsuit was filed against McAlisters for this practice, but I can't find a ruling. I did see were Star Bucks is starting the same tip policy and has a class action lawsuit filed against them to.
  8. MMike
    Report Abuse
    MMike - June 17, 2013 4:44 pm
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuZhnNR6vzc
  9. MMike
    Report Abuse
    MMike - June 17, 2013 4:41 pm
    Joe: The article is too simplistic. Many RTW states had increased growth for reasons unrelated to RTW laws. The impacts of RTW laws are difficult to assess and the known effects are mixed. Wages tend to be lower but so are unemployment rates. It is not clear if the increase in employment is due to attracting business from other states, hence no net benefit to the nation, or in truly spurring new businesses.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-to-work_law#Studies_of_economic_impact

    It is clear that RTW laws are an example of big government interfering in the market. In a free market employee unions and employees would be free to negotiate exclusive agreements just like a restaurant may sign an exclusive deal with Pepsi. I'm not necessarily against this: I support minimum wage laws and restrictions on child labor. Maybe, we should have a law capping executive salaries at half a million. It is just that when free market advocates champion RTW laws they are being utter hypocrites. The reason conservatives support RTW laws is because they believe the net effect is to transfer wealth from workers to business owners.

    You do realize that if Illinois had been a RTW state your pension would likely be less generous. If it becomes one you may have to lower the rents you charge your tenants.
  10. OLD JOE
    Report Abuse
    OLD JOE - June 17, 2013 3:13 pm
    MickeeD, www.insideindianabusiness.com/contributors.asp?id=1189
  11. MickeeD
    Report Abuse
    MickeeD - June 17, 2013 2:22 pm
    It's not a belief system. It's an opinion. A lot of it based on reality and life experience.

    I recently visited a Right to Work state and saw this first hand. A relative was having her garage remodeled. The workers are still taking their time. They've put tarp all over the garage. Even blocked the door to the backyard with tarp. Still waiting for them to finish the job. As with #2 and #3 above, some things just can't be measured by dollars and cents alone.

    There's plenty of blame to go around with Republicans and Democrats.
  12. Ishmael
    Report Abuse
    Ishmael - June 17, 2013 6:31 am
    "It's no wonder he doesn't drop by any more since every time he pops in you and shoestring pick stupid immature fights with him." - MickeeD

    All things considered, I seriously doubt he's not posting here anymore by choice. Proven lying scumbags frequently lose privileges when caught.
  13. Ishmael
    Report Abuse
    Ishmael - June 17, 2013 6:27 am
    " Mr Ishmael likes to dish out a a pile of obnoxious ridicule (he rips on honest working folks and our military veterans.......beyond shameful)..... Ishmael.....he's a coward." - boone76

    "Of course I could call you "old boy" but then you'd get upset and go crying to your mama. I could then always infer that you're a homosexual, a black teenage lesbian, or infer that you and EffKbz are the same person. I'm not even sure if that would be an insult. It might be true. But then I could always call you a total assh*le, or a punk, or a little girl. Would that be true?

    What I know for sure is if someone called me a lying scumbag that person would probably end up losing a few teeth." - MickeeD

    "He is not worth the time. He is just trolling for reactions so he can feel superior." - Mmike

    oh my ... lol; I seem to have struck a nerve with the SI board e-clique! It's always amazing to see the lengths people will go to and the things they will say rather than admit they were wrong.

  14. MickeeD
    Report Abuse
    MickeeD - June 17, 2013 12:03 am
    A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
  15. MMike
    Report Abuse
    MMike - June 16, 2013 10:36 pm
    Oh Ishy ...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMVTOxELjfU

  16. boone76
    Report Abuse
    boone76 - June 16, 2013 10:08 pm
    Mickee....

    Interesting. Mr Ishmael likes to dish out a a pile of obnoxious ridicule (he rips on honest working folks and our military veterans.......beyond shameful).....but yet he seems to have no taste for the repercussions of his actions. He relies on his buddy shoestring to do the heavy lifting for him. I actually have wee bit of respect for shoestring.....I do not agree with him but he has the stones to stand straight up and defend his beliefs.

    Ishmael.....he's a coward. He hides behind cut and paste articles but will never post an actual opinion of his own on anything. That would mean he might have to defend said position.......soft.
  17. MMike
    Report Abuse
    MMike - June 16, 2013 10:02 pm
    MickeeD: He is not worth the time. He is just trolling for reactions so he can feel superior.
  18. MickeeD
    Report Abuse
    MickeeD - June 16, 2013 7:17 pm
    Interesting. Where I come from calling somebody a lying scumbag is an insult and grounds for an ass kicking. Doesn't have much to do with the topic either. So how do you feel about Poshard's support of the pension plan? Seems sensible to me.

    Of course I could call you "old boy" but then you'd get upset and go crying to your mama. I could then always infer that you're a homosexual, a black teenage lesbian, or infer that you and EffKbz are the same person. I'm not even sure if that would be an insult. It might be true. But then I could always call you a total assh*le, or a punk, or a little girl. Would that be true?

    What I know for sure is if someone called me a lying scumbag that person would probably end up losing a few teeth. But then unlike you, DeeJay is an adult. It's no wonder he doesn't drop by any more since every time he pops in you and shoestring pick stupid immature fights with him. Note. I actually enjoy some of shoestring's comments so I don't think he's you.

    Instead since you're so fond of copy and pasting You Tube videos I'd thought I'd leave you with this little nugget. It's not me and it's not boone but I think it pretty much expresses how many of us feel about you at this point.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vcjlirLuUU

    Oh. And it's non sequitur. .
  19. MMike
    Report Abuse
    MMike - June 16, 2013 6:51 pm
    Ish, do I really have to point out that calling someone a scumbag is an insult?

  20. nonpartisan
    Report Abuse
    nonpartisan - June 16, 2013 6:21 pm
    You are so blinded by your your belief system, that you are unable to analyze reality. It seems that socialism is a religion for you. As to your articles of faith:

    1. "Right to Work states sacrifice quality". Yeah, right. Any evidence of that?

    2. "Same applies to privatizing prisons. It's whole business foundation involves locking up more and more people. All for the sake of profit" Last time I checked judicial system has not been privatized. It's courts, you know, that pass judgements, not people who run prisons.

    3. "School vouchers would weaken public schools. Basically turn schools into factories whose main goal is to produce a profit at the expense of a quality education" That's what you have now - public (government) schools are paid by the headcount, the more students they keep, the more money they get. And so they keep promoting from illiterates year after year all the way through 12 grade.

    4. "I'll keep voting Democrat and for democratic socialists until something better". Sure, keep doing it, but don't complain when your property tax (if you pay any) doubles, when you pension disappears, when you will be penalized for voicing dissent, when you will have to get a passport to travel to the next state, etc. etc.

    Insanity is doing same thing over and over again, (like you voting habits) yet expecting different results.

    Socialism is such enchanting idea, the only problem is they ALWAYS run out of others people money and the whole scheme colapses.
  21. Ishmael
    Report Abuse
    Ishmael - June 16, 2013 4:26 pm
    "Your insulting other posters is irrelevant to the topic or anyone's comments and simply reflects who you are." - Mmike

    I didn't insult anybody; you saying I did doesn't make it so. However, it does show you're willing to distort my statements because you can't address them. Your efirend DeeJay / EffKbz is a proven lying scumbag, so that was the truth not an insult. Judging by boone's behavior recently you know as well as I do he's nuttier than a Snicker's bar. So, again, the truth; not an insult.

    Want to regain some credibility around here? Start acknowledging those truths.

    Lastly, if you want to call a professed "exaggerated for humor's sake" question "relevant" feel free. The rest of us call them non-sequitars equivalent to "are you still beating your wife?"
  22. MMike
    Report Abuse
    MMike - June 16, 2013 2:39 pm
    Ish: The question is relevant, although it was exaggerated for humor's sake. The point is Joe claimed he is powerless over his property taxes; I want to show him this is false and challenge him into engaging his county officials regarding his tax bill. Furthermore, I did not "demand" he answer my question. Your insulting other posters is irrelevant to the topic or anyone's comments and simply reflects who you are.

  23. MickeeD
    Report Abuse
    MickeeD - June 16, 2013 2:31 pm
    MMIke makes a valid point. If one sees a need for change one should make an effort to make a change whether it be at the voting booth or activism. There's a lot to be said about being the change. I'm ignorant about Franklin County politics but Joe has seen problems first hand. If Joe doesn't have the time to step up maybe someone else will.
  24. MickeeD
    Report Abuse
    MickeeD - June 16, 2013 1:48 pm
    In my opinion Right to Work states sacrifice quality. You generally get what you pay for which isn't really much. The end result is lower wages and unsafe working conditions. If anything right to work is just an excuse to do away with unions.

    Same applies to privatizing prisons. It's whole business foundation involves locking up more and more people. All for the sake of profit. Instead we should be investing in preventing people from getting to the point where they commit crimes in the first place through education and counseling. We already have the highest incarceration rate of any western style democracy and it is disproportionately includes people of color.

    School vouchers would weaken public schools. Basically turn schools into factories whose main goal is to produce a profit at the expense of a quality education. Just like prisons. Our education systems have enough problems as it is.

    I'll keep voting Democrat and for democratic socialists until something better comes along since it's obvious they do indeed care more about working people that the corporate fascists running the Republican party.
  25. Ishmael
    Report Abuse
    Ishmael - June 16, 2013 1:42 pm
    "You did not answer my question: ... " - Mmike

    Demanding answers to non-sequitar questions, now? You're getting as nutty as boone is, Mmike. Never could understand the e-friendship between you, him, and that lying scumbag DeeJay/EffKbz but I think I see the connection, now.
  26. MMike
    Report Abuse
    MMike - June 16, 2013 1:21 pm
    The strike was not over a wage increase. I made up all missed class time and office hours with my students.

    You did not answer my question: Why don't you run for Franklin County Treasurer? Or, if not Treasurer some other county board position and do something. You can appeal your property assessment. You elected your county officials. Go ask them why your rate went up 2% instead of 1.7%. I said you were whining because you act powerless when you are not. Democracy is a participatory sport. If you do not play, you lose.

    If we became a Right to Work state, private sector wages would decline, sales of consumer goods would decline, and tax rates would have to be increased.
  27. MMike
    Report Abuse
    MMike - June 16, 2013 1:12 pm
    Did you bother to read the article?

    "Change the annual Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) for future retirees from a guaranteed compounded rate of 3 percent annually to a yield that is linked to the actual inflation rate ..."

    "Require employees to contribute an additional .05 percent towards pension cost each year over four years, increasing the annual contribution from 8 percent to 10 percent." [That should be 0.5% not 0.05%.]

    Hate to say it, but you are being rather over dramatic.
  28. OLD JOE
    Report Abuse
    OLD JOE - June 16, 2013 12:56 pm
    MMike talk about winning, you went on strike and said screw the kids for a about a 2% wage increase. No you wasn't verbally saying screw the kids, but that is what it amounted to when parents was paying good money for an education their kids wasn't getting.
    The best fix Illinois lawmakers could come up with, is for Illinois to become a right to work state. Hell unions in the private sector isn't worth 2 cents anymore. All the private sector companies has to do is file bankruptcy and dump their obligations.
    The real state tears would be flowing like the great flood, if the state of Illinois had the same right to file bankruptcy. My prediction is changes is coming. I believe Illinois voters has had all the tax increases they can stand from the democrat party.
    Man wrote the Illinois constitution, man can change Illinois constitution.
  29. Drama
    Report Abuse
    Drama - June 16, 2013 12:36 pm
    MMike states, "you were whining about a 2% increase on your property taxes".

    How much would all the state retired workers complain if they cut their benefits by 2 percent?

    It's time for Illinois to become a Right to Work state!

    Privatize the prison systems and go to full school vouchers!!!!!

    We are the biggest social welfare state in the nation.



    Keep voting Democrat!

    They care about us working folks! Lol

  30. MMike
    Report Abuse
    MMike - June 16, 2013 11:19 am
    Community colleges do receive funding from property taxes. But they are not universities. The universities in Illinois do not get money from property taxes. People often treat the terms university and college as synonymous, so perhaps I should have been clearer.
  31. nonpartisan
    Report Abuse
    nonpartisan - June 16, 2013 11:15 am
    This means John A Logan portion of your property tax will go through the roof, while SIU will be forced to steeply increase tuition and fees.

    If this becomes a template for other state retirement plans, then the local high school and elementary school portions of your tax bill will also go through the roof, and the city part will go up dramatically. I won't be surprised - in fact I expect it - when a current $3,000 property tax bill will rise to $6,000.
  32. nonpartisan
    Report Abuse
    nonpartisan - June 16, 2013 11:08 am
    Old Joe:

    "I want to enjoy the tree I planted 40 year ago, my bushes, my flower garden, the memories of my home were I raised my family."

    You are right. Sadly, so much for the "land of the free and the home of the brave".
  33. MMike
    Report Abuse
    MMike - June 16, 2013 11:02 am
    You are whining about a 2% increase in your property taxes. The inflation rate for 2012 was 1.7%. Why don't you run for Franklin County Treasurer?
  34. WXMAN
    Report Abuse
    WXMAN - June 16, 2013 10:54 am
    MMike...I'm confused by your statement that universities do not get any money from property taxes........I live in Williamson County and John A. Logan is on my property tax bill with an amount going to them.......
  35. OLD JOE
    Report Abuse
    OLD JOE - June 16, 2013 10:07 am
    MMike a person has some control over their electric bill. Just got my new property tax bill and Franklin county is very proud of my property. My taxes just went up another $50 to almost $2,600 now. For what? I have no control over how the county assessed my property.

    Tax my rental property, my truck,boat, tractor. But there is no reason in america a person should live under the threat of becoming homeless because of taxes on their primary home. I know several people that had invested their whole life building their dream home, them after retirement, becoming disabled or underemployed they couldn't afford their dream home anymore because of property taxes. I want to enjoy the tree I planted 40 year ago, My bushes, my flower garden, the memories of my home were I raised my family.

    MMike you may not realize how hard times is today? I have a neighbor (homeowner) that can't afford gas for his lawn mower. (yes he has a job) I set on my ass when I mow, so I have been mowing his lawn for him free of charge.
    Another neighbor (home owner, kind of a nut, been their 40years) hasn't had water or electric for a year now. Saves that money to pay his property taxes with.
    1/2 mile away a guy (homeowner) on disability, his check is not enough to live on, he trades a bedroom, for food. These is the same people that raising property taxes on will be devastating. I won't post their names because of respecting their privacy. But if you would like to shake their hands and hear their story, name a time and meet me a Christopher DQ.
  36. MMike
    Report Abuse
    MMike - June 16, 2013 8:47 am
    The article says: "If used as a model for all the state’s public pension plans, the cost shift to local governments would be softened by guarantees of stable funding that would minimize or eliminate property tax hikes. “If you guarantee them at least level funding, not cutting their funding every year, why do you need a property tax increase?” Poshard said."

    I do not know if Poshard is correct, but he does address your concern about property taxes. BTW, universities do not get any funds from property taxes.

    Your pension plan adds to the cost of coal and hence causes higher utility bills. That means poor people are having their power cut off because of your pension Joe. Maybe we should just kill everyone who is too old to work.

    As for your last question, I think we should re-open Tamms and fill it up with corrupt Illinois politicians and their private sector accomplices. I am against the death penalty but am having mixed feelings about waterboarding for corrupt officials.
  37. OLD JOE
    Report Abuse
    OLD JOE - June 16, 2013 8:06 am
    Shifting 11% to the local school districts? Eventually the wealthy communities will have the best schools, the poor communities will have the worse schools, not being able to recruit teachers.

    A 11% property tax increase over next 12 years will be devastating to some counties like Franklin county that has very little wealth. Many people will lose their homes. Condemning some people to homelessness so someone else can can have shelter.
    If I was a state employee, that would haunt me knowing that a homeless child is homeless only because his parents is being forced to contribute to my pension. Or that child may not be able to afford to celebrate the holidays or have new shoes or a winter coat because of my pension plan.

    Now I can see MMike's rebuttal coming. But that is why I'm here to educate your child so he can earn more money and not be poor. College is expensive, now is MMike going to pay for that child's education, because of higher property taxes his parents can't afford to? This is a lose lose situation for the private sector!

    So what responsibility is the state taking, or the lawmakers that created this mess?
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Illinois Senate advances plan to increase school funding

SPRINGFIELD — An Illinois Senate committee has advanced legislation to increase funding for education this year to a level first proposed by G…

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