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Article posted: 5/17/2013 5:00 AM

Make Speaker Madigan more accountable

I am writing this letter due to my concern about pension reform as proposed by Michael Madigan and passed by the Illinois House, coupled with Mr. Madigan's continued push to transfer teacher pensions to the local school district. Mr. Madigan was a delegate to the constitutional convention and a party to the provision that public pensions could not be diminished. He has been the speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives for 28 of the last 30 years and has supported the Teachers' Retirement System state funding plan until the last few months.

Mr. Madigan has been an instrumental leader while the state repeatedly elected to not properly fund TRS and other public pensions despite complete knowledge and involvement at the time of the constitutional requirement. Due to loss of both principal and interest resulting from legislative financial negligence, TRS actually had to sell off assets recently thus deepening the pension deficit.

The teachers and school districts have fully met their obligations. Teachers, who are the lifeblood of our children's future, now must be victimized. My point is not that pension reform is not needed but rather that there must be accountability for those like Mr. Madigan who inexcusably caused the current financial crisis. Now that the legislature, under the leadership of Mr. Madigan, has successfully raided teacher pension funds he wants to wash his hands of all accountability and transfer all responsibility to the school districts.

Why does the media consistently fail to challenge Mr. Madigan and other legislators for their past financial negligence? Will our legislators led by Mr. Madigan agree to reduce their lavish lifetime medical benefits and pensions?

Don Baker

Elk Grove Village

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