McConnaughay Reports

From State Senator Karen McConnaughay:

This week in Springfield, Senate lawmakers focused much of their attention on moving legislation through committees as part of the vetting process. As legislation is approved by Senators on these committees, it will move to the full Senate body where it may be considered by all Senators.

However, I know many of you are primarily interested in an update on the budget. I still believe the Senate is close to coming to a resolution. However, I think it’s important to acknowledge the scope of what we’ve undertaken. Considering the import and complexity of the issues we’re taking on in this package, it is no wonder that it takes a while to get there. An agreement will take time, and work is still needed on the package before we can say that a compromise has truly been reached.

While we continue to finalize the details on a number of the proposals, two particularly important issues where we still have yet to come to reach an agreement are workers’ compensation reform and property tax relief. I cannot support any budget and reform package until consensus is reached on these pieces of legislation. It is essential that we maximize efficiencies within the workers’ compensation system while retaining protections Illinois workers benefit from. We must also give stronger tools to the Department of Insurance to fight fraud and abuse within the system.

Additionally, property taxes are a particularly heavy burden on taxpayers within the 33rd district. In fact, Illinois citizens pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation. This is why any fiscal plan that will advance a tax increase must also include a statewide property tax freeze to provide much needed relief to hard working Illinois families.

While I have been—and remain—hopeful that the General Assembly can come to a budget agreement with critical structural reforms to put our state back on track, we must make sure we get this right. We’ve made great strides, but we aren’t there yet. I have no doubt that we can resolve our differences through continued give-and-take.

I’m always here to listen to your important questions and concerns that you have regarding these ongoing discussions. Please feel free to contact my district office at 847-214-8245 or send me an email at s[email protected]com. I also encourage you to sign up for my email newsletter to stay up-to-date with the events at the Capitol.

I am also still seeking feedback from you! My brief survey can still be found online–I hope you take the time to fill it out.

Sincerely,

Karen McConnaughay
State Senator 33rd District

Update on the Budget Deal

Senator McConnaughay was involved in ongoing discussions for the impending budget deal. Although it was not passed this week, she provided a current status of negotiations on the compromise. Watch here

Third Annual 33rd District Art ContestFor the third year in a row, Senator Karen McConnaughay joined with local schools to champion her 5th grade art contest. Students from a number of schools in the 33rd District submitted their artwork, which was reviewed by a panel of judges with a combined 58 years of experience specializing in elementary art education. The judges selected 13 winners, whose work will be displayed at the state Capitol. See the artwork from the winners and honorable recipients here!

“Art is essential to children’s educational development,” said Senator McConnaughay.  “Studies show that art education helps improve academic performance and student access. Not only does art education assist in creative problem solving, but it is an important part of a well-rounded education that children benefit from well into their future. I’d like to thank the dedicated teachers and administrators within the 33rd district who worked with us on this wonderful program.”

McConnaughay Recognizes CAASE as ‘Human Trafficking Hero’ 

This week Senator McConnaughay recognized the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE) as her Human Trafficking Hero recipient. CAASE pushes for a community free from all forms of sexual exploitation, including sexual assault and the commercial sex trade. Read more

“Through CAASE’s policy initiatives and local outreach, this organization continues to bring awareness to the issues of human trafficking and sexual exploitation one community at a time,” said Senator Karen McConnaughay. “While raising awareness is one component of CAASE’s mission, it is a critical part. I applaud CAASE staff efforts to prevent sexual exploitation and help survivors seek civil litigation and criminal prosecution for perpetrators of sexual violence.”

Fox Valley SCORE Offers Assistance to Small Businesses

The ability for small businesses to thrive in Illinois is essential. Small business owners within the 33rd District can take a look at Fox Valley SCORE as they are providing free confidential mentoring to enhance branding efforts for small businesses within DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, McHenry and Will counties. Read more

March Celebrates Women’s History Month

March marks Women’s History Month, providing the opportunity to reflect upon the contributions of women throughout history, and celebrate the significant contributions women continue to make to modern society.

Local Business Discounts for Kane Veterans

Many veterans in Kane County are now eligible for discounts at local small businesses. This includes cash bonuses and rebates for auto purchases, clothing stores, entertainment, and much more! Veterans can use a military ID to receive these community discounts. Read more

Community Spotlight: Rise Jones, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Hamilton Wings

This week, Senator McConnaughay spotlights every day hero, Rise Jones, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Executive Director of Hamilton Wings. Read more

“The arts are vital to our children’s academic and emotional development, and every community needs leaders like Rise to protect and promote art enrichment and education,” said Senator McConnaughay. “Rise is not only an incredible role model for our young students, but she inspires everyone to discover their personal gifts and how they can use them to give back to the community.”


Comments

McConnaughay Reports — 3 Comments

  1. When are they going to address geoengineering? The chemtrails were disgusting all over the county today once again. When are they going to get rid of the fluoride they demand we put in our water that is poisoning us? When are you going to get tough on genetically engineered food? No one will be alive to read your reports if you don’t get really serious on these issues.

  2. The main budgeting problem is unsustainable pensions.

    Pensions are unsustainable in large part due to legislative benefit hikes and salary hikes, which resulted in hiked contributions to the pension fund.

    The actuarial required contributions were in many cases shorted, with money diverted to salary hikes, which in turn hiked the actuarial amount owed to the pension fund.

    A major problem with underfunded pensions is lost investment returns.

    The taxpayer is asked to fund 100% of those lost investment returns.

    Thus more taxpayer money eventually goes to underfunded pensions, as opposed to fully funded pensions, assuming the pensions are to be 100% paid.

    There are no serious discussions about sustainable pension reform.

    Thus any “Grand Bargain” is a pothole patch.

    The people who created the mess and benefit most from the mess are probably not going to solve the mess, until a crisis hits.

    It will get worse before it gets better in Illinois.

    The pension legislation passed for decades was not done to be sustainable.

    It was done for immediate political gratification.

    There is no Taxpayer Lobbyist in Springfield.

  3. An expansion of a sentence above.

    A major problem with underfunded pensions is lost investment returns, due to shorted employer actuarial required contributions.

    Legislative benefit hikes and salary hikes resulted in hiked employer actuarial required contributions.

    The employer actuarial required contribution target kept moving up, requiring in ever more taxpayer dollars.

    The employer actuarial required contribution is the taxpayer contribution.

    In Illinois, the legislators and Governors passing benefit hikes, and those approving salary hikes at all levels of government, treated the taxpayer actuarial required employer contribution as a bottomless pit, and thus treated the taxpayer as a bottomless pit.

    That’s part of the Illinois Pension Scam.

    Still available on Amazon.

    The fact there are no serious pension reform discussions is a huge problem that affects local and state taxpayers long term.

    Cutting property taxes does little to reform pensions (possibly reduces future salary hikes).

    +++++++

    One other point about pensions (the budget nightmare).

    Consider the concept of high risk, high reward; low risk, low reward.

    Tier II pensions have a lower reward (benefit structure and thus pension payout) than Tier I.

    Tier II pensions apply to those employees beginning their career on January 1, 2011, or after.

    Tier II & Tier I employee contributions are identical

    Tier II & Tier I funds are not separate for accounting purposes.

    So what happens if benefits (pension payouts) are someday cut?

    Tier II & Tier I would like take an equal cut, even though Tier II has a lower reward.

    So in that case, lower reward results in the same risk.

    Could Tier II have been structured differently to take into account the lower reward?

    If Tier II & Tier I funds were separate for accounting purposes, since Tier II has lower benefits, it would be better funded.

    But the Illinois General Assembly and Governor chose not to take that approach when creating Tier II.

    So now Tier II members and Tier I members are at odds.

    Tier I wants Tier II & Tier I funds kept together, to minimize the risk their pensions will be reduced.

    Tier II wants Tier II & Tier I funds kept separate, as a trade-off for lower rewards.

    Tier I opposes reforms to keep Tier II separate from Tier I for accounting purposes.

    As Union leaders are typically Tier I, they will oppose reforms to keep Tier II separate for accounting purposes.

    Thus what Tier I calls pension envy not only applies to taxpayers but to Tier II.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *