Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » IEA says it helped McSweeney “kill” Rauner’s pension tax shift
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IEA says it helped McSweeney “kill” Rauner’s pension tax shift

Thursday, Mar 1, 2018

* The sponsorship list has grown from yesterday, when it hit 60…

The Illinois Education Association (IEA) is proud of its work that helped kill Gov. Bruce Rauner’s plan to shift the cost of pensions from the state to local school and community college districts and universities.

Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, introduced a resolution last year that stated the pension cost shift is “financially wrong” and would harm local school districts and taxpayers.

McSweeney approached the IEA for help in talking to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to build support for his measure because of IEA’s history of bipartisanship. Together, they were able to get 66 House members to sign on to the resolution in a show of force that effectively kills the Rauner pension cost shift.

“The pension cost shift would result in a massive increase in property taxes and would jeopardize education funding. I’m proud of the bipartisan coalition of 65 House members, and working with the IEA, to oppose this cost shift and do what’s right for the taxpayers and students of this state,” said McSweeney.

The resolution reads: “States the opinion of the Illinois House of Representatives that the proposed educational pension cost shift from the State of Illinois to local school districts, community colleges, and institutions of higher education is financially wrong.”

“If the state quits paying its portion of pension benefits and pushes it off to the local school districts, it strangles local school funding and harms students,” said IEA President Kathi Griffin. “We need to be looking for ways to provide more funding for our students, not taking money away from them to pay for state obligations.”

For decades, the IEA has been fighting for changes to the way Illinois schools are funded to create a more equitable formula that ensures a quality education for all students regardless of where they live. This summer the legislature passed a new school funding formula.

“It’s interesting that now you have the governor talking about shifting pension costs to local school districts and community colleges. While at the same time, Rauner continually tries to take credit for passing the historic school funding reform bill, even though he originally vetoed the bill,” Griffin said. “You can’t give with one hand and take away with the other. Rauner is not a friend of education. Our kids deserve more than this.”

That is one odd coupling right there, kids. Politics, bedfellows, etc.

…Adding… I had this one saved up to post and then forgot to do it. Busy day…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ron - Thursday, Mar 1, 18 @ 3:03 pm:

    It’s a shame as it’s probably the best way to control pensions.

  2. - City Zen - Thursday, Mar 1, 18 @ 3:12 pm:

    It is in the IEA’s best interest to keep school districts and their pension costs as far removed as possible.

  3. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Mar 1, 18 @ 3:14 pm:

    Looks like Raunwr needs to cut K-12 spending by an equal amount.

  4. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 1, 18 @ 4:33 pm:

    It may be dead for the moment, but it will be back on a more gradually version sooner or later.

  5. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 1, 18 @ 4:37 pm:

    ==strangles school funding and harms students==

    Not unless you can cut every teacher’s salary in half. That should do it /s

  6. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 1, 18 @ 5:43 pm:

    It’s just a temporary delay. I expect to see it back with a more gradually shift in a year or two.

  7. - Opiate of the Masses - Thursday, Mar 1, 18 @ 6:42 pm:

    It’s rich for the IEA to claim they fought for equitable funding for kids in the past. Maybe they did decades ago, I wasn’t around. But they sure didn’t this time. They sat directly on the sidelines for 4 years while others carried the water on the historic reform passed this summer. The IEA only cares about the IEA.

  8. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 1, 18 @ 7:16 pm:

    So, Opiate, you are pro property tax increases? Nothing stopping you from paying more yourself you know.

  9. - Opiate of the Masses - Thursday, Mar 1, 18 @ 7:21 pm:


    I am not even addressing the Govenor’s inane proposal. That wasn’t going anywhere.



  10. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Mar 1, 18 @ 7:22 pm:

    I agree with RNUG on the eventuality of the cost shift, for K-12. Don’t see it happening for higher ed unless we find oil on a campus somewhere.

  11. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Mar 1, 18 @ 7:55 pm:

    RNUG, we need to figure out a way to phase in the cost shift over time so that it’s affordable. You know, like a uh, ramp or something.

  12. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Mar 1, 18 @ 8:04 pm:

    Sorry fellas. Cats outta the bag. Its irreversible.

  13. - JS Mill - Thursday, Mar 1, 18 @ 8:26 pm:

    As per usual RNUG and AA are correct (hat tip to both gents), we are going to see cost shift again. It won’t be while Rauner is governor, MJM will not give that to him even though he wants it.

    Local districts should have the ability to levy for it if they choose. That is local control. MJM wouldn’t even discuss the concept though. Totally opposed.

    If that is how it works out it will have to be very gradual. Salaries are going to rise now that the teacher supply has dried up. The competition or “market” will demand high salaries and better benefits, which those that love “market” economics will undoubtedly support. /s

  14. - Opiate of the Masses - Thursday, Mar 1, 18 @ 8:40 pm:

    The cost shift is coming, ain’t no doubt about it. There are some unintended consequences to that as well, but most have expected it to happen with a reasonable ramp. Thankfully, they built that possibility into the EBM.

  15. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Mar 1, 18 @ 9:55 pm:

    Thanks, JSM.

    You are spot on in writing that districts must have the ability to levy in order to fund the cost shift. I think the overlooked part of “the miracle of IMRF” is that the payments were always made because their employers could levy for the funds, not due to any other magic beans.

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