Monday, June 17, 2013

While Illinois Democrats fight, quit watching and try offering some ideas like HB3303

Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno's quoted in the Trib saying of her recent meeting with Gov Quinn, Mike Madigan, and John Cullerton,
Meanwhile, Republicans say they are poised to offer their support for pension reform, but are waiting for the ruling Democrats to get on the same page.
"I kind of felt like I was witnessing an awkward family fight," Senate Republican Christine Radogno of Lemont said following Friday's closed-door meeting.

 "It was uncomfortable and it's clear there is not even close to an agreement between the Democrats. It was them sort of dancing around the problems they have."
Radogno should have offered a new page  to this dysfunctional family instead of watching the free-for-all.  State Reps. Tom Morrison, R-Palatine, and Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton have done just that and it's called HB3303. 
Illinois Policy Institute's Ben VanMetre wrote this on it,
The Illinois General Assembly is gearing up for a special session to discuss pensions next week because of lawmakers' reform inaction during the recent spring session, which resulted in back-to-back credit rating downgrades.

The debate during session will likely be over which of two plans will solve Illinois' crisis – House Speaker Mike Madigan's proposal or the one introduced by Senate President John Cullerton.

The irony of the crisis is that a model for pension reform already exists and operates in Illinois. And no one is talking about it.

In the mid-1990s, Illinois began offering state university employees a choice between the politician-controlled defined benefit plan and a new self-managed plan, or SMP.

Here are the basics of the SMP:
  • The employee contributes 8 percent of his or her salary toward retirement savings.
  • The employer matches 7.1 percent of the employee's salary.
  • In total, an amount equal to 15 percent of the employee's salary goes toward a retirement savings account each pay period.
  • More than 17,500 workers have chosen this 401(k)-style SMP.
  • At retirement, the employee can roll the money over to another qualified plan, take a lump-sum withdrawal or purchase a lifetime monthly annuity.
  • If the employee leaves government service before retirement, the worker has several options available, including leaving the money in the self-managed account at the State Universities Retirement System, moving the money to another qualified plan or taking a lump-sum refund.
This kind of plan creates greater budget certainty for taxpayers, empowers government workers with control over their own retirement savings and ultimately moves retirement costs to a more sustainable path.

Lawmakers introduced legislation this spring that would give all government workers in Illinois portability and security in a retirement system modeled after the 401(k)-style plan that exists in SURS.

State Reps. Tom Morrison, R-Palatine, and Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, along with Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, are leading the efforts to modernize Illinois' broken pension system with a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan.

The plan to solve Illinois' dire pension crisis is already here, and it has been since the 1990s. For Illinois to become competitive again, the General Assembly must move forward with a 401(k)-style plan for all state workers.  
And then there's this video,

Not to mention many links here and here.  Lots Radagno could have done besides watching the squabble.  It's time for ideas, not fights.  Plenty are working on ways to avoid Detroit's fate.  Time for the GOP Leaders to offer them up.

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