* Interesting points…
Other [Gov. Pritzker budget] ideas included making a recent [pension] buyout program permanent.
State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, who helped craft the buyout program last year, said making it permanent could be irreversible and possibly be abused, costing taxpayers more.
“The way to do something like this is to expand it, not make the small thing we’re doing permanent, but to expand the buyouts and do it for a short period of time,” Batinick said.
Batinick said if the buyout were made permanent, the state constitution’s pension-protection clause would make it impossible to undo. He said the program needs a sunset date. Instead, Batinick said the state needs to find other incentives to get eligible people to take the buyout in a limited time frame.
“I didn’t hear those,” Batinick said after Pritzker’s budget speech Wednesday. “What I just heard was more borrowing, higher taxes, more spending and counting on revenue that has yet to be realized with new programs.”
Fitch analysts said extending the plans indefinitely could add to current year budget pressures by eliminating the incentive for those eligible to sign up for a buyout this year, reducing estimated savings.
State Rep. Robert Martwick, D-Chicago, who also helped usher in the buyout plans last year, said there’s also the risk of negative selection.
“The most common example would be ‘I’m set to retire but I found out that I only have three weeks to live and so I go in and I take a buyout,’ and so the state loses because it would be a negative selection.”