A press release from Governor Bruce Rauner:
Governor names members of Local Government and Unfunded Mandates Task Force
Lt. Governor Sanguinetti to chair task force
CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner announced today the members of the newly created Local Government and Unfunded Mandates Task Force.
The task force is comprised of municipal and county leaders, representatives of school districts, state legislators, and experts in consolidation.
They represent all areas of Illinois.
The task force is chaired by Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti.
This task force will identify ways to help local governments consolidate and eliminate duplicate governmental bodies, school districts and taxing authorities.
Streamlining these services will help prevent waste and use taxpayer dollars more efficiently.
It will also find ways to reduce the number of unfunded mandates the state imposes on local communities.
“Illinois has an excessive number of local government units and the state severely limits local governments’ ability to control their own costs,” Gov. Rauner said.
“Consolidating local government and reducing the burden of unfunded mandates imposed by the state will reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve delivery of services.”
“Streamlining local governments will help them better provide core services to the hard-working families in Illinois,” Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti said. “I am honored to work for the taxpayers by helping their local governments become more efficient so they can better serve the people they represent.”
Members of the Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force are as follows:
Chaired By: Lt. Governor Sanguinetti
- Rep. Tom Demmer, Former Lee County Board Member
- Rep. Mark Batinick
- Rep. Jack D. Franks
- Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch
- Sen. Dan Duffy
- Sen. Dale A. Righter
- Sen. Martin A. Sandoval
- Sen. Linda Holmes
- Karen Darch, Barrington Mayor
- Karen Hasara, Member of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, Former Mayor of Springfield, Chair of Sangamon County Citizens Efficiency Commission
- Brad Cole, Executive Director of the Illinois Municipal League, Former Carbondale Mayor
- Ryan Spain, Peoria City Council Member
- Dan Cronin, DuPage County Chairman, Former Member of the Illinois General Assembly
- Michael Bigger, Former Stark County Chairman
- Mark Kern, St. Clair County Chairman, Former Alderman and Mayor of Belleville
- John Espinoza, Whiteside County Board Member
- Rev. James T. Meeks, Illinois State Board of Education
- Dr. Darlene Ruscitti, DuPage Regional Superintendent of Schools
- Steffanie Seegmiller, Arthur School Board Chairman
- M. Hill Hammock, Senior Fellow – Metropolitan Planning Council, Former Chief Administrative Officer for Chicago Public Schools
- Char Foss-Eggemann, Park Ridge Library Board of Trustees
- Warren L. Dixon III, Naperville Township Assessor, Former DuPage County Board of Review
- George Obernagel, Chairman – Kaskaskia Regional Port District
Serving in an Advisory Capacity: Clayton Frick, Deloitte Services LP
Unfunded mandates are a problem.
Consolidation sounds great, but economies of scale don’t work in gov every often.
Bigger gov usually means bigger tax bills for the same services.
Jack Franks own Consolidation report tell of the short comings and some of the benefits.
I’d hope Jack doesn’t ignore his own report and try to over consolidate at our expense.
Sorry, but this seems more like a power grab or payback then any type of tax savings.
Why would Governor Rauner put Barrington Mayor Karen Darch on a committee to consolidate local governments?
Obviously he is unaware of her history.
Up until last year the Village of Barrington and the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District worked as 1 department through an intergovernmental contract.
Last year the contract was severed, with Mayor Darch leading the way to separate because she didn’t like the costs for pensions.
So now an agency that was well respected has become 2 SEPARATE GOVERNMENT TAXING AGENCIES that separately cost more money, cause a duplication of services, equipment and administration and have drastically reduced the overall ability of fulfilling their mission.
This separation has already indirectly lead to the death of an area resident in a house fire.
Good job Mayor Darcy, hopefully the money saved in pensions was worth that person’s life.
Unfortunately I feel that death is only the first to occur.
If this committee is looking to consolidate local governments, she should be the last person working on this, unless of course the true objective is to prevent consolidation.
I hope Governor Rauner reconsiders this appointment, because with her on it we will probably end up twice the amount of local government agencies than we have now.
Fire and police pension benefits were hiked by state legislators and Governors over the last 40 years.
Massive unfunded mandate to local.
There is no “state” contribution to fire and police pensions.
Instead 100% of fire and police funding comes from local.
So when legislators and Governors hike fire and police pension benefits, that results in local taxpayers having to absorb 100% of the hiked benefit.
General state funding however has also been hiked to local municipalities.
So while there was not a direct state subsidy funding hike for pensions, one could argue there was an indirect state funding hike for pensions.
But was the indirect funding hike enough to absorb the direct pension hike?
And of course local police and fire salaries have greatly increased thanks to local collective bargaining salary hikes.
And thus we are back to the tried and true Illinois convoluted intertwined pension mess.
State legislators and Governors hike pension benefits.
Local hikes salaries.
The result is a hiked pension.
But as pension benefits and salaries were being hiked, the pension fund (there are some exceptions) was already underfunded.
Let’s talk about exceptions.
Fire and Police pensions are different than teacher pensions in this way.
Fire and police pension funds are unique to the individual municipality and fire department.
Meaning for instance Crystal Lake has a police pension fund, Lakewood has a different police pension fund, Woodstock has a different police pension fund, McHenry has a different police pension fund, Lake in the Hills has a different fire department pension fund, Algonquin has a different fire department pension fund, etc.
There are hundreds of police and fire pension funds, all adhering to the same rules made by state legislators and Governors.
Teachers and administrators on the other hand have 1 giant pension fund, where all school districts contribute to the same giant pension fund.
The rules for these pension funds are found in the Illinois Pension Code.
Article 3 – Police Pension Fund – Municipalities 500,000 And Under.
Article 4 – Firefighters’ Pension Fund – Municipalities 500,000 And Under.
Article 16 – Teachers’ Retirement System Of The State Of Illinois.
Those are the rules that state legislators and Governors have changed over the years, helping to destroy the pension funds at today’s taxation levels.
Here’s the latest and greatest from COGFA about police and fire pensions.
2015 Update – Fiscal Analysis of the Downstate Police & Downstate Fire Pension Funds in Illinois (P.A. 95-0950)
Do a search on your town.
Ask your elected officials about the unfunded liability (most towns have an unfunded liability for police and fire pensions).
Unfunded liability = IOU.
Unfunded police and fire pensions are a big problem for most municipalities.
Once again, police and fire will say, we paid everything into our pension plan that we were supposed to.
We did, what we were supposed to do.
The local government did not contribute their fair share.
Don’t blame us.
Well here’s the rest of the story.
Police and Fire benefits should have never been hiked by state legislators and Governors if pensions were already underfunded.
Why would state legislators and governors hike underfunded pensions?
Because of lobbyists.
Because of campaign contributions, votes, and electioneering assistance from police and fire in exchange for hiking pension benefits.
As legislators and governors were hiking pension benefits, local was hiking salaries.
The result of hiking benefits and hiking salaries is a hiked pension.
All the while, most police and fire pensions were underfunded.
Police and fire were well represented.
No one was explaining the scenario to taxpayers.
Is that Democracy.
Taxpayers have to be more wary of politicians and special interest groups.
How many years does it take a police or fire retiring now to recoup their lifetime employee pension contributions in the form of a pension?
For teachers and administrators, it’s 1 – 2 years, everything after that is pure profit.
Mark, your post is a bit disingenuous. Claiming 100% of police and fire pensions are funded locally belies the fact that these employees pay 9.91% into their pensions. The slanted way you laid your argument out insinuates these employees do not contribute–they do. Don’t play the semantics game. Although it’s true all of police and fire salaries come from the public, your post is a word game and not right on.
There is no state contribution to police and fire pensions.
There is an employee contribution to police and fire pensions.
There is an employer contribution to police and fire pensions.
The employee and employer contributions are local.
In just about every pension plan on earth there is an employee contribution.
The only exception I am aware of in which there is sometimes not an employee contribution is in the majority of school districts that contribute to the TRS Pension Fund (Teacher Retirement System on the State of Illinois).
In TRS, school boards can agree to “pick up” part or all of the employee contribution to the pension fund.
Which by the way is typically a hike to gross compensation in what is referred to as the salary schedule add-on method.
In no way did I mean to insinuate that employees don’t contribute to their police and fire pension fund.
It’s pretty much assumed that employees have a contribution to their pension fund, not matter what the pension fund is, public or private; again; the exception being those “pension pickup” exceptions in TRS.
Local when referring to public sector pensions in Illinois refers to local taxing districts as opposed to the State.
Local when referring to public sector pensions in Illinois does not refer to employees not contributing to their pension fund.
That’s not a game or semantics.
That’s common vernacular.
Local vs State.
The point of police and fire contribution is being 9.91% is a good one.
Teachers and administrators contribute 9.4% to TRS.
Police and fire contribute .51% more than teachers and administrators to their pension fund.
All the 18 pension funds in the Illinois Pension Code have different rules such as employee contribution, employer contribution, accrual rate, retirement age, years worked / years of service, etc.
Teacher, and most police and fire, pension funds are grossly underfunded in Illinois, which is a taxpayer IOU, and the benefits in those funds have been hiked by legislators and governors, and the salaries hiked, even though the pension funds were underfunded.
The beginning of the end for Rauner …….
rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic w/ the same mooks who steered the ship o’ Illinois to disaster …….
yeah, good luck, w/ that!
Jack Franks repeatedly has claimed he has never voted for a tax hike.
But he has voted for legislation that has hiked taxes, such as pension benefit hikes.
Then the various units of government have to eventually find the money to fund the hikes.
In the short term, pension benefit hikes to underfunded pensions typically results in a larger unfunded liability (taxpayer IOU to the pension fund).
Unfunded mandates are a big problem at the Federal level also.
Unfunded mandates are not limited to Democrats or Republicans.
Both parties are tempted to pacify special interest groups with legislation that hikes costs in the short, medium, or long term, without funding the legislation.
Here is an example.
Bill Kovacs: Unfunded Mandates Undermine the Constitution, State Autonomy and our Economic Well-Being
October 4, 2016
by H Sterling Burnett
Look at the US Debt Clock website.
Unfunded mandates are a major contributor to our debt.
Passing unfunded mandates, without disclosing the costs of the mandates, and without fully disclosing current debt, is a MAJOR problem.
It is outrageous for a political candidate to be on an unfunded mandates task force and claim he has never voted for a tax hike while not explaining he voted for unfunded mandates which hiked costs.
When government costs are hiked, if everything is to be paid, there the typical result is a tax hike.
Other options include cutting services, furloughs, otherwise cutting costs somehow, delaying the funding of pension benefit hikes (which hikes the eventual total cost of the pensions), etc.