I am a retired teacher, and I have just had a portion of my contractually earned retirement benefit taken from me because of the passage of pension bill SB 1.
I am writing to express my thanks to those legislators (Sen. Tim Bivins among them) who honored the oaths they took to uphold the Illinois Constitution and voted “no” in opposition to this bill.
After all, the constitution clearly prohibits legislation that “diminishes or impairs” state pensions; and since the pension benefits that I earned during my working years will be cut substantially over the years I have left to live, it is obvious to me that the bill does violate this portion of the constitution.
This pension bill affects teachers, police, university employees, prison workers, administrators, staff, and many others. Only the judges' retirement system was untouched, in a crass effort to improve the odds that the bill will be upheld when it is challenged in court.
During the 36 years that I taught business and accounting courses, I urged my students to behave ethically in the business world – to respect those they did business with, to honor their commitments, and to follow the letter of the law.
Thank you, Sen. Bivins, and the 23 other members of the Senate who voted “no,” for modeling those principles and setting a positive example for the young people of Illinois.