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This says everything you need to know about the Teachers Union

Source: Will County News

In Illinois, 72 small-town city and village managers out-earn every governor of the 50 states

  THE ‘BIG DOGS’ OF ILLINOIS MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT At a time when many are complaining about Washington, D.C., our data shows that states and local units of government need a lot more scrutiny. That’s especially true in Illinois where corruption is our number one manufactured product. See the highest to lowest 2015 municipal salaries here. See the […]
Source: Will County News

GOP Senators Move to Block Obama’s Gun Ban for Veterans

GOP Senators Move to Block Obama’s Gun Ban for Veterans

Republican Senators are moving to block an Obama gun ban that will otherwise prevent over a quater of a million military veterans from owning guns.

The gun ban for veterans is being handled the same way as Obama’s gun ban for Social Security beneficiaries. Those who cannot manage their own finances are being labeled with a mental health moniker and added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) as being prohibited from purchasing firearms.

In July 2015 Breitbart News reported that Obama’s gun ban against Veterans had already been administered behind the scenes for an unknown amount of time. The Los Angeles Times pointed to the example of 30-year-old U.S. Marine Steve Overman. He required help with his finances because of “weakened..memory and cognitive ability” resulting from a roadside bomb in Iraq. The “VA eventually deemed him 100% disabled and after reviewing his case in 2012 declared him incompetent, making his wife his fiduciary.” Because of this, he had to get his guns out of his house–taking them a relative’s home–in order to avoid losing them.

The Hill now reports that “more than 257,000 former members of the military” are facing a similar plight as Overman. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman

(R-GA) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) are demanding the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) halt the practice. Isakson and Grassley sent a letter to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, pointing to the way veterans are being added to the NICS prohibited purchasers list, and observing, “The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is effectively a national gun ban list and placement on the list precludes the ownership and possession of firearms.”Both Senators pointed out that requiring help with one’s finances has nothing to with the Second Amendment and is “totally unrelated” to whether someone should be prohibited from owning a gun.

Grassley sent a separate letter asking Senate appropriators to “block the VA from continuing this practice in the upcoming budget negotiations.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.

Source: Will County News

Illinois lawmakers have one of the sweetest retirement deals on planet earth

MAR 31, 2016 @ 11:37 PM 26,288 VIEWS
The ‘Pension Palace’ For Illinois Lawmakers 2016

Adam Andrzejewski
I cover the “daily greed” of national, state, and local politics.

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
Nobody knows how to game the system for personal gain like an Illinois lawmaker. The political class voted themselves tens of millions of dollars in lifetime pension payouts. It’s time end their ‘pension palace.’

Illinois lawmakers have one of the sweetest retirement deals on planet earth. It’s supposed to be a ‘part-time’ job in the general assembly, but now taxpayer funded legislator pension costs exceed most base salaries. Last year, taxpayers paid a whopping $71,818 per legislator ($15.8 million in FY2015) to fund their ‘golden parachute’ retirement plans. See the top all-time General Assembly Retirement System pensions here.

President Obama addressed the Illinois General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol on February 10, 2016.  Most of the IL  lawmakers have designed their very own ‘pension palaces.’ Credit:  MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images


At OpenTheBooks.com, we looked at who’s receiving what, when and for how long. The results would make Public Enemy #1, the 1930s bank robber John Dillinger, blush. For example, the #1 all-time pension goes to a 31-year long-forgotten state senator. Retiring from Springfield in 2000, with a pension spiking stop at the Chicago schools, Arthur Berman (D) now takes $19,652 a month ($235,824) in annual pension – nearly four times more than he ever made as a Springfield lawmaker.

Here are just some of the Illinois lawmaker ‘big-dogs’ from both parties:

  • Retired Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley (D) makes $132,384 a year in state lawmaker pension – from a short eight-year ‘career’ as a state senator (plus some pension spiking tricks).
  • Former Governor Jim Edgar (R) costs taxpayers $337,816 per year: a $156,324 pension, plus an $181,492 salary (FY2013) at our flagship University of Illinois at Champaign.
  • In 2010, former Governor George Ryan (R) had a $197,028 annual pension ($16,419/month), but it was stripped away by the successful public corruption prosecution conviction.
  • Even former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert (R) cashed in for a $28,020 ($2,335/month) legislative state pension before heading off to his congressional career.
  • Both Democrats and Republicans have engineered a system of compliance and largesse – give no pain to party leadership and the lawmaker gets all the gain. As soon as lawmakers ‘retire,’ they move into a pension palace.

    Of course, even the losers get into pension palace. Consider the ‘casualties’ of the 2014 elections:

    • Governor Pat Quinn (D) lost re-election and immediately started collecting $133,164 ($11,097/month). Quinn was also a previous treasurer and lieutenant governor.
    • State Treasurer Dan Rutherford (R) lost in the republican primary for governor and immediately started collecting $132,624 ($11,052/month). Rutherford was a previous state representative and senator since 1993.
    • House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R) lost the race for state treasurer and immediately filed for his $81,012/year ($6,751/month) pension. Cross was a state representative since 1993.
    • State Senator Kirk Dillard lost two republican primary gubernatorial elections, served in the state senate from 1994-2014, and filed for his state pension: $6,831 per month ($81,972/year).

    Widely reported in 2011, former State Treasurer and State Representative Dawn Clark-Netsch (D) paid back $10,000 from her pension to the state. She thought the benefits were too lucrative and inappropriate.

    Yet, Illinois politicians who feel such remorse are rare. For example, former State Representative Judy Erwin (D–Chicago) spent ten years in the house and then was able to spike her pension with an appointment to the Board of Higher Education with a salary of over $191,000 annually. Edwin’s pension is now #3 on our list in FY2015: $164,004 per year ($13,667/month).

    Another example is the former State Representative Gary Hannig (D) who served ten years through 2009. In the same year, Hannig took the top job at Illinois Department of Transportation paying $150,228 per year. He stayed only 27 months, just enough time to pump his pension to $150,960 annually ($12,580/month). Then-Governor Pat Quinn rehired Hannig at nearly $150,000 in a new position – as his Director of Legislative Affairs. All told, Hannig was making $300,000. Not bad for a ‘public servant.’

    New Governor Bruce Rauner (R) and 37 legislators – first led by State Representative Tom Morrison (R) in 2011 – refused to participate in the lawmaker pension plan. That’s a full one-fifth of the Illinois General Assembly – from both parties. These declinations saved Illinois taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in future payouts.

    Incredibly, the General Assembly Retirement System is only 16.8% funded (FY2015). So despite hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollar funding over the years for a very small number of participants, it just wasn’t even to satisfy lawmaker greed. Taxpayers are on the hook for an even bigger future bill.

    In Illinois, the pension palace is one part of the housing bubble that never burst. But, when it does, everyone in the state but the beneficiaries will pay.

    Update:  In 1995, State Rep. Dave Leuchtefeld (R) was the first to opt out of the General Assembly Retirement System. In 2010, two months before Tom Morrison, State Rep. Ron Sandack (R) opted out of the pension and healthcare benefit. Sandack has since advocated for his HB138 legislation that would kill pensions for lawmakers.

    Who are ‘The Big Dogs of Illinois Municipal Government 2016?’ Read our recent Forbes editorial.

    Adam Andrzejewski is the founder and CEO of OpenTheBooks.com – the world’s largest private repository of public spending. This article is based mostly on our FOIA requests.

Source: Will County News