On November 14, the Illinois Senate took a major step in addressing the pension crisis by passing legislation that would consolidate Illinois 650 downstate and suburban police and fire pension funds.
State Senator Don DeWitte (R-St. Charles) supported Senate Bill 1300 and released the below statement:
"The two concerns I hear most from my constituents are pensions and property taxes. This pension consolidation bill addresses both.
"This plan creates the potential for greater investment returns and helps ensure financial stability so that we can keep our promises to first responders across the state of Illinois. The efficiencies of 650 different investment strategies have proven to be problematic, and millions of dollars are lost to pay for hundreds of sets of administrations. By consolidating these funds under two boards, instead of 650, the costs of managing these funds will decrease, allowing that money to be returned to property taxpayers.
"While pension funds will be under the control of two boards, the administration of benefits will still take place at the local level giving first responders the local representation that ensures they receive the benefits they have earned for their service to their communities.
"To be clear, this is not a fix-all for the problems within police and fire pensions, but its a good start."