State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) released the following statement after his “no” vote on Senate Bill 1300:
“Illinois has some of the worst funded pensions in the nation. In 2011, reforms were put into law to slow the growth of the unfunded liability. While I believe pension consolidation is a good idea, this legislation includes irresponsible proposals which reverse key aspects of those 2011 reforms and increase pension benefits. Earlier this year, Governor Pritzker proposed taking a pension holiday; now this legislation proposes to increase pension benefits. Pension holidays and enhancements are to blame for the poor financial condition of our pension systems. Notably, today’s proposal didn’t even include an actuarial cost estimate of its impact.
Everyone is agreement that we have to do something about the rising costs of our municipal pensions, but today’s proposal is an irresponsible and ill-advised way to approach it.”