Candidates for the state house district that includes Evanston say they don’t support proposed legislation that decreases the pensions of new public employees.

Candidates for the state house district that includes Evanston say they don’t support proposed legislation that decreases the pensions of new public employees.

Governor Patrick Quinn has proposed creating a two-tiered pension system to curb the state’s mounting underfunded pension liabilities — which is currently estimated to be at $74 billion.

Quinn also signed a budget last month provides a temporary pension fix by issuing $4 billion in pension obligation bonds.

The proposed two-tier system would not affect benefits for current employees but would cap the cost-of-living increases and raise the retirement age of new ones.

Public employee unions attacked the proposal, claiming that it wouldn’t save money in the long run as the governor projected, and the three declared candidates in the house race agree with the unions.

Jeff Smith says the state should, among other solutions, consider capping retirement benefits.

The Tooling and Manufacturing Association proposed in March changing the current pension system to resemble a 401(k) system. Sen. Bill Brady (44th District) suggested the state allow employees to choose between a pension system or a 401(k) system.

But candidate Eamon Kelly says a 401(k) system isn’t right for public employees.

Candidate Patrick Kennan-Devlin says the state needs to commit to paying off its underfunded pension liability by adopting a dedicated payment schedule.

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  1. The three candidates agree with the unions
    Thanks for enquiring about this. As I feared, all three candidates are afraid of the unions.

    My guess is that taxes will go up to support the pensions for state, local, and county employees. And then I guarantee that at least one candidate will make the silly anti-development argument : “They said that development downtown would lower our taxes..but we built condos in Evanston, and my taxes went up.”

  2. Evanston is a one-flavor town
    They say Evanston is diverse. Based on theses candidates, two that I understand are from Evanston, it’s the same tired old pro-union mantra – There’s no political diversity in Evanston.

    As unemployment in Illinois continues to hover over 10 percent, and private businesses are laying off employees by the droves, government continues to GROW!!!

    And, you can bet our taxes will grow as well.

    These sweet union pensiion deals, ripe with cronyism and corruption, are STILL supported by this so-called new crop of politicians. Not one politician in this bunch supports a radical change to this pension mess, which is clearly unsustainable and is bankrupting Evanston.

    None of these guys bring to the table anything worth considering. That’s probably because they are vying for union support with feet and finances. Give us a candidate who is vying for support from the non-union taxpaying citizens. That’s a candidate I will campaign for, vote for and give money to,

    Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.

  3. What about police and firefighters’ pensions?
    My question to the candidates is whether they would support consolidating police and firefighter pension plans at the county or state level, as municipal worker plans are, rather than the state dictating the level of benefits and leaving it up to individual towns, such as Evanston, to provide for them at a local level.

    1. Defined Contribution
      Many companies have moved to defined contributions from defined benefits. City employee plans should also.
      Politicans find it easy to promise benefits that won’t come due until long after they are out of office [and the city], to keep labor peace.
      Roger Lowenstein in his book ‘While America Aged’ points out how this has cost companies and cities dearly for making promises they can’t keep. [Evanston Public Library has this book].

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