Pritzker's parting gift to retiring teachers comes at a high cost to everyone else, warns GOP official
Kane County activist Linda Prestia is anything but surprised with the way things have unfolded in Springfield the last six months under new Gov. J.B. Pritzker, which is why the state continues to move backwards instead of forward.
“Now that there is full Democratic control of the state legislature and the governor's seat, they have full and total reign on the taxpayer's purse and we are seeing that,” Prestia, Precinct 34 committeewoman for the Dundee Township Republican Organization, told the Kane County Reporter. “What we are experiencing now is Democrat-led waste, fraud and abuse of our tax money led by an out-of-touch billionaire who does not appreciate that money is harder and harder to come by for the folks in Illinois."
Prestia points to Pritzker’s recently passed state budget in which he made sure to include a provision that all but eradicates the law enacted under former Gov. Bruce Rauner that prohibits end-of-career salary raises for retiring Teachers’ Retiring System (TRS) employees. Under the new law, the last three years of a teacher’s career can once more include raises of as much as 6 percent, paving the way for accumulated pension increases to skyrocket by as much as 24 percent over that time.
Pritzker’s new policy comes at a time when TRS is reported to be at least $75 billion short of what it needs to make good on pension payouts already accumulated.
”The pension spiking actually puts even more pressure on the Teachers Retirement System,” Prestia added. “Pension spiking is great for the educator who is close to retiring, but at the expense of a wide majority of the future teachers and those currently teaching. It is apparent the Democrats do not want to acknowledge that the TRS is only 40-percent funded. It's apparent J.B. Pritzker has no plans to acknowledge that the Illinois retirement security is in jeopardy.”
Prestia said all the current administration's machinations have a trickle-down effect that ultimately makes it harder on hardworking Illinois taxpayers.
“We are in desperate need of property tax cuts,” she said. “Some school districts already suck about two-thirds of the total property tax dollars collected in Illinois. What is the reality is that pensions are consuming the state education funds now at an even faster rate because of the end-of-career salary spikes. School districts then resort to hiking our property taxes to find new money. It's the same old racket that got us to this point.”