County Board IMRF Law Reverberates Around the State

The new state statute authored by State Rep. Jack Franks as part of his campaign for McHenry County Board Chairman is making waves across Illinois.

I’ve noticed stories in two counties so far:

  • Madison County, near St. Louis
  • Will County

In Madison County the Republican candidate for County Board Chairman, County Treasurer Kurt Prenzler is using the IMRF for part-time county board members issue to beat the Democrats over the head.

He is urging the Madison County Board members to vote themselves out of the pension plan, just at the McHenry County Board did.  (Mike Walkup surfaced the withdrawal suggestion in May.)

Prenzler is also beating the incumbent Democrat about the ears for being in two public pension plans.

In Will County, there is the type of resentment at being singled out that was expressed on the McHenry County Board floor when IMRF asked for proof of members having worked 1,000 per year.

The Tribune reports some Will County Board members are questioning the legality of the law because Franks cut out part-time municipal and township officials.

Republican Board Speaker Jim Moustis replied to the complaint from fellow Republican Tom Weigel like this, according to the Tribune:

“I suppose you could say we were singled out. I don’t know why they were taken out. There seems to be some inconsistencies.I don’t see us challenging it.”

The GOP leader suggested considering dropping out of IMRF.

Below is the resolution that McHenry County passed on the longest day of the year:

The McHenry County Board's resolution withdrawing from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund pension plan.

The McHenry County Board’s resolution withdrawing from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund pension plan.


County Board IMRF Law Reverberates Around the State — 3 Comments

  1. Article from Chicago Tribune September 3, 2016
    Will County questions legality of new pension law

    “Board member Tom Weigel, R-New Lenox, calling it
    “DISCRIMINATORY and unconstitutional.”

    “Weigel, said the new law UNFAIRLY SINGLES OUT
    board members and SHOULD ALSO INCLUDE
    MUNICIPAL and TOWNSHIP elected officials.
    During Thursday’s executive committee meeting,
    He requested an opinion from the Will County state’s
    Attorney’s office on whether Senate Bill 2701 is
    unconstitutional and, if so, “We should take this to court.”

    “Board Speaker Jim Moustis, R-Frankfort Township, noting
    that municipal and township officials were INITIALLY INCLUDED
    in the proposed legislation, but were TAKEN OUT.”

    “I suppose you could say we were SINGLED OUT.
    I DON’T KNOW WHY they were taken out.
    There seems to be some INCONSISTENCIES.” 

    Sure looks like Jacko Franko was perhaps
    Targeting the County board members & to
    Use it in his campaign for County Board
    Chair ?

  2. This was Public Act 99-0900 (PA 99-0900), Senate Bill 2701 (SB 2701) in the 99th General Assembly, signed into law by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner on August 26, 2016.


    The public has been told many times that once a pension benefit has been granted in Illinois, membership benefits cannot be diminished or impaired.

    Benefits can only be diminished or impaired for those not yet members of the pension system (i.e. future employees).

    So how is it that this law does not violate the state constitution?

    Or does this law violate the state constitution?


    “Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State,

    any unit of local government or school district,

    or any agency or instrumentality thereof,

    shall be an enforceable contractual relationship,

    the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.”

  3. Here is how IMRF and Executive Director Louis Kosiba dealt with diminishing and impairing pension benefits previously granted.

    For whatever reason the unions didn’t sue IMRF for the diminished or impaired benefits to current members.


    McHenry County Blog

    County Board Member IMRF Update

    September 13, 2016


    So there is an example of diminished and impaired pension benefits for existing members.

    That pension sentence is not ironclad.

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