Gov. Thompson, where are you? Back when you were governor you told the Illinois Education Association that the state of Illinois desperately needed your help. He said we were short on highway funds and he was taking the state's contribution to pension funding to build more and improve our roads. Gov. Thompson promised that "the state of Illinois would never let its teachers down." We needn't worry, our pension is safe. To pacify the opposition to diversion of our retirement funds they even put it into the state constitution that the pension could not be diminished.
Now about 33 years later we have a bill, SB 1, that without a doubt diminishes our pensions. Of course, Speaker Michael Madigan has not included the judge's pensions in this bill. I don't know but I'll bet a judge's pension is much higher than the average teacher pension of $47,000. I know there are fewer judges than teachers, but fair is fair. If the judges were included they might be more inclined to obey the Constitution.
Do you know that a teacher can receive only about a third of his or her earned Social Security benefits, and now SB 1 will limit the $900 uncompounded cola to $600 if you receive Social Security benefits. You don't get Social Security because you have a pension, and you don't get part of your pension because you have Social Security. How can that be fair?
If you cannot count on a governor's promise or the constitution to protect you, what can you count on?