Speak Out: Address causes of state’s pension problems
June 6, 2012 7:36PM
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Updated: July 8, 2012 6:42PM
Pension problems: It doesn’t surprise me that the head of the Illinois legislature, Michael Madigan, isn’t going to do a thing about the runaway pensions in the school system. He’s simply going to stop the practice of bumping up pensions in the last year or so. Madigan isn’t addressing the real issue of teacher runaway pensions. Why? It’s because the teachers are his constituency and keep him elected year after year. Illinois will turn to others to find out where they can get that $83 billion for the deficit in the teachers pension fund. I imagine it will come from us, the taxpayers.
Editor’s note: The figure of $83 billion represents the unfunded liability in all five of the state’s pension systems, not just teacher pensions. And although some people want to continue to cite “runaway pensions” as the primary culprit, they ignore the fact that the state has failed for years to adequately fund its pension funds.
Bring back Talk Back: A short while ago, the Chicago Sun-Times had a picture of their CEO and talked about how he’s going to bring the newspaper into the future. The first thing I’d like to bring back is Talk Back, similar to The Courier-News Speak Out. I wonder why they got rid of it. It’s the only way they can listen to the common man and woman’s complaints about their city.
Comment on synthetic drugs story: I saw the article about synthetic drugs taken out of two stores in Carpentersville. It’s kind of confusing. On one hand, they said they seized the drugs and busted the stores, and then later in the same article, it said Attorney General Lisa Madigan is proposing a bill that would make these things illegal. What is the real story? The real story is they gave up the stuff voluntarily obviously because if it was illegal, they would have busted them and arrested them for it. It’s too bad the article didn’t reflect the true aspects of the situation.
Editor’s note: Authorities said the removed substances were illegal, even though the packaging may have stated otherwise. Not included in our article was this information from the attorney general’s office: “Many states, including Illinois, initially responded to the rise of synthetic drug use by passing laws that banned specific formulas of synthetic marijuana and bath salts. Drug makers attempted to sidestep these laws by replacing the banned chemicals with slightly different formulas. A recent Illinois law that went into effect on Jan. 1 takes a broader approach and bans all chemicals that are structural derivatives of the previously-banned chemicals. Madigan’s legislation would complement this current measure.”