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Article posted: 7/13/2013 4:40 AM

Consider Cullerton pension bill

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Consider Cullerton pension bill

Teachers have been told their retirement benefits must be cut because the state has a budget problem. This is especially hard for teachers to accept because we do not get Social Security. More than 70 years ago, the state decided to establish the pension as an alternative to Social Security because it would save the state money. And it has. Pensions actually cost less than Social Security.

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This was a sound plan that would have worked well for everyone if politicians, decade after decade, had not decided to use the pension systems as a credit card, taking the money and using it for other items to stave off tax increases. But now, the unpaid pension bill has grown just like an unpaid credit card bill.

Through their unions, public employees have offered to help address the problem. But Gov. Pat Quinn, Speaker Madigan and other elected leaders want the employees to bear the entire cost of fixing the problem the politicians caused.

As legislators work over the summer to address the state's fiscal issues, they are urged to revisit Senate Bill 2404, the bill backed by the unions and State Senate President John Cullerton. SB 2404 is fair, it's constitutional and it will help Illinois get back on track.

Valerie C. Dranias

Aurora

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