Two House Bills Jack Franks Introduced Passed

Democrat State Rep. Jack Franks introduced dozens of bills this past session.

Today, let’s look at the ones he passed:

House Bill 228 (only votes against were two House members)

Synopsis As Introduced

Amends the General Assembly Organization Act. Provides that until 4 years after the effective date of the amendatory Act, the General Assembly shall not enact any law creating any new unit of local government, including, but not limited to, the division of existing units of local government.

Provides that the amendatory Act does not apply to the creation of a new unit of local government from the consolidation of 2 or more pre-existing units of local government.

House Bill 3334 (no one in either House voted against it)

Synopsis As Introduced

The Marengo Rescue Squad's Station No. 2.

The Marengo Rescue Squad’s Station No. 2.

Amends the Rescue Squad Districts Act. Provides that electors of a rescue squad district may petition for a referendum to allow the board of trustees of the rescue squad district to be elected.

Jack Franks actually had to run for office for the first time in three elections in 2010.

Jack Franks actually had to run for office for the first time in three elections in 2010.

Further provides that if the referendum for election of the board of trustees is approved, that the appointed members of the board of trustees will continue until their successors are elected and qualified. Effective immediately.

[This may be the only Rescue Squad District in Illinois.]

That’s all of the bills that Franks introduced in the Illinois House that were signed into law.

Maybe you can find something I missed here.

In March, I looked at bills Franks had introduced and reported on them in this article:

“What’s Jack Franks Up To in Spingfield? Substance & 48 (!) Shell Bills”

I didn’t count the bills he introduced (feel free to do so), but he certainly had a low batting average this year.

Since I listed all of his bills in the article, some might have fun looking for the bills that resulted in nothing but a headline.

= = = = =
Some may find irony in the fact that Franks did not seek to consolidate the Rescue Squad District with the Marengo Fire Protection District.


Two House Bills Jack Franks Introduced Passed — 7 Comments

  1. Cal, if Jack only introduced bills drafted by you and then batted a thousand, you’d complain about the ties he wore.

    Maybe a disclaimer at the top of your website that says “BEWARE: Republican group think ahead.”?

    Or is that why you get like12 hits a month?

    Everybody but the gomers already knows not to eat paint chips.

  2. Per the Illinois Comptroller Data Warehouse.

    The Marengo Fire Protection District and the Marengo Rescue Squad District do not participate in a public sector pension fund, do not have any bond debt, their combined revenues are less than $3 million, and their revenues are more than their expenses.

    The following public sector pension funds are present in Marengo.

    IMRF – City of Marengo
    IMRF – Marengo Park District
    IMRF – Marengo Public Library District
    IMRF – Marengo High School District 154 (does not include teachers and administrators)
    IMRF – Marengo Township
    IMRF – Marengo Union Elementary School District 165 (does not include teachers and administrators)
    IMRF – Riley Elementary School District 158 (does not include teachers and administrators)
    IMRF – Riley Township

    TRS – Marengo High School District 154
    TRS – Marengo Union Elementary School District 165
    TRS – Riley ELementary School District 158

    IMRF keeps the funds separate for each taxing district; each taxing district has its own funding status.

    TRS lumps all the contributions and thus all taxing districts have the same funding status.

    IMRF – Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.

    TRS – Teachers Retirement System of the State of Illinois.

    IMRF & TRS are two of the 19 public sector pension systems in Illinois, including 2 mass transit pension systems (CTA & RTA / Metra / PACE).

    Two of the 19 pension systems, Downstate Police & Downstate Fire, explode into 657 pension funds, as they are administered at the local level not centrally, meaning each of those 657 police departments, fire departments, and fire protection districts have a board to invest the funds for just their department / district.

    17 + 657 = 674 public sector pension funds in Illinois.

    There may be a few other mass transit district pension funds somewhere such as Rockford, East St. Louis, Champaign – Urbana, Bloomington – Normal, Peoria, Springfield, etc.

    IMRF is considered 1 pension system and pension fund in the above numbers.

  3. Jack, did you at least offer legislation that would change our state gov into being fiscally responsible?

    The number one from this county should be dealing with the states number one problem, borrowing.

  4. The IMRF pension fund consolidates 2,982 employers and 3,255 plans into one investment pool.

    Some employers have multiple plans.

    The three types of plans in IMRF plans are Regular, Sheriff Law Enforcement Plan (SLEP), and Elected County Official (ECO).

    For instance the City of Woodstock and McHenry County participate in Regular and SLEP.

    Why would the City of Woodstock participate in the Sheriff Law Enforcement Plan?

    It’s explained in of page 43 (page 73 of the pdf) of the the City of Woodstock’s 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

    “Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund – Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Personnel (SLEP) Plan

    IMRF – SLEP Plan covers the City’s employees that are hired as sworn law enforcement personnel, but are not required to be covered by the Police Pension Plan.”


    The “Police Pension Plan” refers to the Downstate Police Pension Fund.


    So IMRF consolidates employers into one pension fund for investment purposes, whereas Downstate Police and Downstate Fire do not.

    Each IMRF, Downstate Police, and Downstate Fire plan has it’s own funding level, with 100% funded being the target, anything less being a taxpayer IOU aka unfunded liability.

    If we add the 2,982 IMRF employers to the 674 public sector pension funds in Illinois, then subtract one from the 674 list to account for IMRF, we have 3,655 discrete public sector pension funding levels to track in Illinois.

    Most of the 3,655 are underfunded.

    IMRF tends to be less underfunded than the others, one reason being its benefits tend to be less generous than the others.

    Could it be that municipal workers as a group don’t have as much political power in Illinois as teachers, police, fire, state workers, university employees, judges, legislators, Chicago employees, Cook County employees, and even mass transit?

  5. Actually it would be more accurate to count IMRF plans rather than employers to determine the number of public sector pension funding levels that should be tracked in Illinois.

    So, 3,255 IMRF plans + 674 public sector pension funds (we’ll leave in IMRF so it’s overall funding can be tracked) = 3,929 public sector pension funding levels that should be tracked in Illinois.

    Has anyone ever seen a list of the the funding status of 3,929 Illinois pension plans?

    All of those 3,929 somehow roll up into the 19 pension systems.

    No one ever listed all 3,929 in one place.

    That would be a pretty long blog comment.

  6. What Larry Snow the ex Huntley school board member was looking for is more precisely called an employer pension pick (aka Board Paid TRS aka Salary Schedule Add-On Method).

    This practice ALWAYS results in a pay hike due to its math formula (a factor is added onto the pay schedule).

    Worse yet the practice is never properly explained as a pay hike to the taxpayers at the time it’s negotiated.

    Employer pension pick-up (aka Board Paid TRS aka Salary Schedule Add-On Method) results in:

    – hiked pensionable income (aka creditable earnings)

    – hiked taxable earnings

    – hiked overall (employer and employee) contributions to TRS

    – hiked employer contributions to TRS

    – reduced employee contributions to TRS

    – No increased tax shelter on a percentage basis (the entire 9.4% is tax sheltered irregardless of
    whether or not an employer pick up is negotiated)

    – An increased tax shelter on an absolute basis (this is due to the fact that pensionable income is hiked, so therefore the contribution in dollars – not percentage – is hiked).

    The way the scheme works is an add-on factor is added to the base salary schedule resulting in a hiked salary schedule (thus the name Salary Schedule Add-On Method).

    The 9.4% employee contribution is always both non-taxable (tax exempt) and fully pensionable (counts as pensionable income), irregardless if the employer picks up all or some of the employee contribution.

    TRS explains how the practice works their Employer Guide, although of course they don’t call it a pay hike.

    The practice should be illegal.

    It would be if the Illinois General Assembly and Governors hadn’t made it legal.

    Have you ever heard of an employer picking up all or some of the employees Social Security contribution?

    TRS members don’t contribute to Social Security.

    Illinois Policy Institute, Chicago Tribune, Taxpayers United of America, the Patch, Illinois State Board of Education and others have written several articles or tracked the practice.

    Illinois Policy Institute
    August 18, 2015
    Passing the buck: Avoiding accountability for the teacher-retirement funding mess
    by Ted Dabrowski

    Illinois Policy Institute
    May 22, 2015
    64 percent of Illinois school districts pick up pension contributions for teachers

    Illinois Policy Institute
    Understanding teacher pension “pick ups”
    May 11, 2012
    by Ted Dabrowski

    Illinois Policy Institute
    Teacher Pensions: Who’s Really Paying
    October 13, 2011
    by Ted Dabrowski

    Chicago Tribune
    August 26, 2015
    Little-noticed pension perk for teachers widespread in Illinois

    Chicago Tribune
    Illinois districts that cover all or some part of teacher member contributions

    Illinois Policy Institute
    August 2015
    CPS Pensions: From Retirement Security to Political Slush Fund
    By Ted Dabrowski, John Klingner, Tait Jensen

    Taxpayers United of America
    August 19, 2015
    Perhaps it’s Time for a Taxpayer Strike

    Bolingbrook Patch
    October 31, 2011
    by Cedra Crenshaw
    Why Don’t VVSD Teachers Pay Their Share of Pension Contributions?–why-dont-vvsd-teachers-pay-their-share-of-pension86c5e01dbe

    ISBE tracks the practice in The Illinois Teacher Salary Study, search on, “TRS %.”
    Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) > Division & Program Areas > Data Analysis > Teacher Salary (Illinois)

    TRS Employer Guide
    September 2015

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