McSweeney's bill would deny lifelong pensions to new state legislators
State Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) has been moved to action when it comes to Illinois’s rising debt and bubbling pension system crisis.
On Jan. 29, McSweeney introduced House Bill 293, which would do away with the pension system for all new members of the General Assembly beginning as early as 2020.
Currently all legislators in Springfield may enter into the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS), which covers lawmakers, who are eligible to receive up to 85 percent of their salary as of their last day of service, compared to Tier 1 teachers across the state, who are only eligible for three-fourths of theirs.
"I have voluntarily opted out of the legislative pension system since I became a member of the General Assembly,” McSweeney said in a press release. “I think it sends the wrong message to taxpayers to force them to fund legislative pensions when the state can’t pay its own bills.”
McSweeney, who has served in Springfield since 2013, said his proposal strikes him as the most sensible way forward for the cash-strapped state.
“Being a state legislator is supposed to be about public service,” he added in the release. “Service should not be about receiving lifetime pension benefits. If we want to end the egregious legislator pensions, we must enact legislation to do it.”
House Bill 293 has now been referred to the House Rules Committee.