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posted: 5/9/2014 12:01 AM

State neglect penalizes teachers

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State neglect penalizes teachers

I am a retired teacher with 38 years of credited experience. During this time, I paid into the Teachers' Retirement System around 8 percent of my gross salary. This was a requirement over which I had no control.

Now that I am retired and drawing my TRS pension, I find that the rules are changing and not to my advantage. It appears that by a vote of the Illinois House and Senate my pension will be reduced as of June 1. For many years the legislature refused to abide by the constitutional requirement that required the state to augment the funds provided by teachers such as myself. Now that we are in a financial crisis the state is planning to penalize teachers to recover additional funds.

Article XIII, Paragraph 5 of the Illinois Constitution states that pension cannot be diminished in any way. This has not prevented the state government from trying to do this. This is an exercise in bipartisan malfeasance. Teachers are being penalized because the state government has not met its required responsibilities for decades.

It is sad that there has been no response from the media elites and even a passive endorsement of what is clearly unconstitutional. If they can get away with this now who is to say they will not try again.

Bruce A. Lavenau

West Chicago

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