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posted: 5/20/2013 5:00 AM

Honor the promise to provide benefits

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Unless I missed it, state elected officials swear under oath to defend and uphold the Illinois Constitution. How is it that these elected officials are now falling over each other to finds ways around the Constitution to diminish public pensions, violating the Constitution they swore to defend and uphold?

Public sector employees did not create this fiscal crisis. Many of these state elected officials, now and in the past, found ways not to approve the state's statutory obligation to contribute to the pension funds. Public sector employees faithfully contributed their share each month to their pension funds. These are the same employees who worked 20 or 30 years for government, who do not receive Social Security, bonuses, profit-sharing, etc., for their work upon retirement. They counted on their pensions for their retirement, and now that is being challenged.

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All revenue and expenditure options should be considered before reducing pension benefits for public employees, who will be too old to find a job to supplement the reduction in their benefits. I wonder what President Abe would think of his beloved Illinois now. Hold it, I think I hear him saying, "Forgive them, for they know not what they are doing."

Kevin J. Fitzgerald

Arlington Heights

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