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What do you think about pension reform in Illinois?

Published: Monday, June 24, 2013 1:27 p.m. CST • Updated: Monday, June 24, 2013 1:28 p.m. CST

“The Illinois Constitution states that membership in the pension systems “shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.” Rather than raise sufficient revenue or create a state budget that pays the pension obligation and provides state services at desired levels, lawmakers and governors used the pensions as the rest of us might use our personal Visa. The employees did not cause the state’s pension problem, so holding them solely responsible for fixing the problem is not fair or reasonable. Teachers are willing to consider proposals that are constitutional, fair, and will allow Illinois to continue to attract high-quality people to public education.”

Eric Tinley, Princeton

“I think some of the state politicians ought to be reformed. The public service employees have contributed their end of the bargain and it keeps being mismanaged, placing the focus back on the employees.”

Scott Etheridge, Princeton

“We realize that the state is in trouble, but it is not the fault of the teachers and other state employees. It’s mismanagement of funds. It all comes down to one thing: A pension is a promise! We have met our obligations in paying and upgrading our pensions. We shouldn’t be denied the right to draw on that pension or have it limited when we retire.”

Carol Johnston, Princeton

“The pensions were funded by the taxpayers; then the legislature borrowed from them; Now, the legislature wants us to fund them again. Mismanagement of the funds shouldn’t come back on the taxpayers or the employees who have been paying into them. Employees who were promised a certain pension shouldn’t have that changed. Pension reform should come down to the legislature fixing what they’ve done.”

Gary Hanna, Princeton

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