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Candidate Governor Jeanne Ives Leads the Charge on Transformational Pension Reform

 For Immediate Release 

Ives Leads the Charge on Transformational Pension Reform

“After his election, Benedict Rauner was quick to abandon us in the fight for pension reform. His betrayal has not gone unnoticed by the ratings agencies. And once the junk ratings come, it will be too late to reverse course.” 


December 19, 2017 – Last week, a Fitch Ratings report determined that Illinois is the worst in the nation when it comes to pensions as a share of residents’ personal income. Under Fitch’s calculation, Illinois’ total debt – defined as net tax-supported debt and net pension liability – amounted to more than 28 percent of Illinois residents’ personal income. The average in other states is 3 percent. State Representative Jeanne Ives, a Republican Candidate for Governor, released the following statement:

“The Fitch Ratings report that Illinois’ unfunded pension liabilities equaled 22.8% of residents’ personal income last year, compared to a median of 3.1% across all states and 1% in Florida, explains why Illinois’ economy has been stagnant, growing a meager 0.9% on an inflation-adjusted annual basis since 2012—the slowest in the Great Lakes and half as fast as the U.S. overall.

“Illinois finances and fiscal policy aren’t just bad, they are extreme and immoral. Illinois families and businesses contribute billions of dollars each year to both local and state pensions, yet the state’s unfunded liability continues to rise, despite increasing contributions and a favorable stock market.  Currently, pension payments eat up a full quarter of our state budget.

“After his election, Benedict Rauner was quick to abandon us in the fight for pension reform. While some in Springfield chose to ignore his betrayal, it did not go unnoticed by the ratings agencies. And once the junk ratings come, it will be too late to reverse course without an enormous amount of pain to taxpayers, state retirees, and the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

“I urge Governor Rauner to join me, and many of my colleagues in the General Assembly, in taking thoughtful and transformative action on the state’s most pressing issue. One of the first pieces of legislation that I filed as a state legislator was a bill to bring about major reforms to our pension system (HB 3303, 2013, 98th ILGA). Our pension system is the state’s most urgent budget issue. It must be solved to save our state and our cities.

“These three initiatives must happen simultaneously:

  • Pass a constitutional amendment to change the pension protection clause in Article VIII, Section 5 of the Constitution of the State of Illinois, which states that pensions cannot be diminished or impaired.  This change will ensure taxpayers are not on the hook for pension obligations on services not yet rendered.

  • Require all new hires to enter a 401K-stlye self-managed plan. This provides the flexibility and ownership of assets that is prevalent in our private sector and relevant for our modernized employment system where job mobility is important to workers. As well, the US Military is shifting to this plan for all military personnel.

  • Re-negotiate pension obligations with current workers and retirees. Many of these plans will either be insolvent or require confiscatory taxes that cannot be paid. We must have an honest conversation, as Rhode Island politicians had with their pensioners, in order to solve this problem once and for all.

“The plan I am proposing ultimately restores fiscal order to the state by eliminating unsustainable pensions and unfunded liabilities. This paves the way for the economy to flourish, fostering an environment where businesses can thrive and create the jobs Illinoisans need.”


For more information or to book Jeanne Ives, contact Kathleen Murphy at 630-329-4680 orkathleenemurphy26@gmail.com.

Illinois Pension Crisis Fact Sheet  

  • Illinois pension numbers were calculated under conservative assumptions. Fitch puts Illinois’ pension shortfalls at $151 billion, rather than the official $130 billion the state reports. Moody’s Investors Service, by comparison, calculates Illinois’ pension debt to be $251 billion under even more realistic investment assumptions.
  •  Fitch Ratings reported this week that Illinois’ unfunded pension liabilities equaled 22.8% of residents’ personal income last year, compared to a median of 3.1% across all states and 1% in Florida.
  • The report helps explain why Illinois’s economy has been stagnant, growing a meager 0.9% on an inflation-adjusted annual basis since 2012—the slowest in the Great Lakes and half as fast as the U.S. overall.
  • The state’s massive debt is one of reasons why Fitch has Illinois rated at BBB, two notches above junk, while Moody’s and S&P both rate Illinois even lower, just one notch away from junk.
  • Wirepoints.com analysis reports, “Since the end of the Great Recession, the S&P 500 index has recovered and grown by more than 200 percent, including reinvested dividends, to reach record highs.  At the same time, Illinois’ pension shortfall worsened by 65 percent, to reach $129.1 billion. In 2009, it was $78 billion.”
  • This year, the pension systems cost Illinois taxpayers over $6.5 billion. But that amount shorted the system by $1.4 billion. It relied on pension reform that won’t be in place until 2019, and lower than actuarially required contributions.

Date: 12.19.17

Source: Will County News

The Term Limit Revolution /Read with Our Free App

The Term Limit Revolution by [Murphy, Scott]

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Over 75% of Americans want term limits for Congress. Yet, few people believe term limits will ever be implemented. Congress is unlikely to put themselves out of a job. The Term Limit Revolution explains why term limits are essential, how the entire country will benefit, and proposes a plan of action where passing term limits becomes the least objectionable option for Congress.

The Term Limit Revolution reveals abuses career politicians are perpetrating on those they should represent, exposes rules politicians use to benefiting themselves, and pulls back the curtain exposing tricks of the trade the political elite use to maintain their power.

Decidedly and purposefully nonpartisan, The Term Limit Revolution issues a call to unite and save our country from the entitled political class. The Revolution requires a diverse, unified, and committed electorate. The Term Limit Revolution is a blueprint for one reform that could help heal the division among the people of the United States.

Are you ready to join The Term Limit Revolution?

Source: Will County News

“digital assets” and how I need to include them in my estate plan

Gary K. Davidson | Edward J. Jarot Jr. | Sarah M. Vahey
Scott M. Hoster | Myles L. Jacobs | David P. Smith
Theresa Dollinger | James V. Capparelli | John Carter
Sebastian Kos | Fernando L. Ferrer | Andrew J. Holton
Nicholas W. Ktenas
13963 S. Bell Road, Homer Glen, IL 60491
                  822 129th Infantry Drive, Suite 104, Joliet, IL 60435
        2272 West 95th Street, Suite 120, Naperville, IL 60564
Q:       I’ve read about “digital assets” and how I need to include them in my estate
plan. What does that mean?
A:     In our ever-expanding world of technology, more and more assets of an
individual are owned on hard drives, on social media accounts, and online in
the “cloud.” Items include pictures, music and videos, but also include
intangibles such as websites and domain names. Naming a person to have
the authority to manage and dispense this property is a growing concern in
any estate plan.
In addition, granting a person access to social media sites, e-mail accounts and similar on-line resources after death or disability is critical. Many of the “user agreements” we scroll through (without reading – ATTORNEYS INCLUDED!!) place significant restrictions on gaining access, unless an executor/trustee/agent is granted access under a document.
We are happy to meet with you to review these and other matters in your overall estate and personal planning matter.
Edward J. Jarot
Castle Law

Source: Will County News

Homer 33C Young School teacher selected to share strategies at technology institute To have voice in new Front Row curriculum

News Release

Homer CCSD 33C

Goodings Grove   Luther J. Schilling   William E. Young   William J. Butler

Hadley Middle   Homer Jr. High


Contact: Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager

cbrautigam@homerschools.org | 708-226-7628


For Immediate Release:

Dec. 19, 2017

Young School teacher selected to share strategies at technology institute

To have voice in new Front Row curriculum


Young School fourth-grade teacher Jordana Letizia is headed to San Francisco in March to swap strategies with some of Illinois’ techiest educators.


Letizia, who uses an interactive math program in her classroom called Front Row, was notified in mid-December that she was selected to join seven other educators at the company’s Winter Institute on March 1 and 2.


She’ll not only swap teaching strategies but have a voice in new Front Row curriculum by working with the company’s product team on a new design feature.


“Participants will become an expert in personalized learning with Front Row, share strategies with the techiest educators in the state and have a voice in products that your district would like to see Front Row develop,” Front Row Education Account Executive Seanie Civale wrote in a letter to Kathleen Robinson, Homer 33C Assistant Superintendent for Instruction.


It was Robinson and Young School Principal Mike Szopinski who nominated Letizia for the all-expenses paid personalized learning institute.


“Mrs. Letizia is a second year teacher with a passion for education that you would not believe,” Robinson wrote in the nomination. “She is a techie who supports differentiation in her classroom.”


Letizia began using Front Row last school year to gauge her students’ understanding of math concepts and then personalize their instruction so that they could work on problems at their own pace.


“Front Row has opened up doors to me which, as a new teacher, I had never thought possible,” she said. “One of the most pressing issues of math instruction is being able to meet the individual needs of each of my 24 budding mathematicians. With Front Row, I can do the impossible: I can get instant, real-time data and immediately apply the knowledge gained about my class to create personalized practice for each student.”


She went on to say that Front Row has been a paradigm-shifting tool for her as an educator and that her students can’t get enough of it.


“The collaboration it fosters by recommending students who can help with a problem is remarkable,” she said. “My students are never bored; they are able to push themselves and they are fully engaged in both the independent practice and the inquiry-based lessons. I even have kids using the scoreboard to compete after school hours to see who can do the most math at home — what more can a teacher want? I cannot imagine my classroom without Front Row.”


It was Letizia’s passion for teaching that caught the attention of Front Row executives.


“Jordana’s passion for education and personalized learning shone through,” said Civale. “We look forward to having her out here in our offices in San Francisco to learn from and contribute to the Front Row team.”


Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/homer33c?fref=ts&ref=br_tf


Source: Will County News

The virtual economy is the end of freedom

The virtual economy is the end of freedom

Personal Liberty


There is one simple rule to follow when understanding the history of economies: Never put blind faith in a system built on an establishment-created foundation. You would think this would not be a difficult concept to grasp being that we have so many examples of controlled economies to reference over the centuries, but in our era more than ever the allure of a virtual world with promises of endless wealth and ease is overwhelming.

Yes, I am referring primarily to cyptocurrency tulip-mania, but not this alone. I am also referring to a far-reaching problem of which cryptocurrencies are a stark reflection. Namely, the fact that humanity has lost sight of what a true economy is and what it is supposed to accomplish. It is because of this reality that crypto is thriving.

First, let’s be clear, fiat currencies are one of the first machinations of the virtual economy. Once paper currencies printed from thin air by central bankers were accepted by the masses as “valuable” and worth trading labor for, the seed of financial cancer was planted. Once those currencies were decoupled completely from tangible commodities like gold, the malignant growth spread. Today, there is one final step needed for the establishment to accomplish complete tyranny in global trade and that is to separate the masses fully from private transactions. In other words, we must be tricked into going digital, where privacy is an absurd memory.

Virtual economics is appealing for several reasons, most of them bad. Americans and much of the west in particular are increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of real production. The latest generation coming into political and social influence, the millenials, are a perfect example. Surveys show American millenials more than any other generation lack basic workplace competency skills, including scoring low on arithmetic and reading comprehension. Often portrayed as “tech savvy” in popular culture and the media, millenials are actually quite inept when it comes to core skills that fuel strong business and trade, which is part of the reason why the U.S. is falling into the shadow of foreign workforces.

Millenials in the West also exhibit abysmal tech skills in international testing and lag far behind foreign peers. This has come as a surprise to many mainstream economists and social analysts, primarily because millenials are also considered the “most educated” generation ever. But, of course, we have not only been given a virtual economy in recent decades, but also a virtual educational system. A majority of millenials are incompetent when it comes to key production skills because they have been trained to dismiss such skills as negligible. In other words, millenials have been conditioned to be academic idiots.

Read More

Source: Will County News