August 2012

August 15, 2012

The Honorable Michael J. Madigan
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Room 300 Statehouse
Springfield, Illinois 62706

Dear Speaker Madigan,

Proposals are before you that attempt to solve a part of the State’s fiscal problem by legislating the supposed “choice” mandated in Senate Bill 1673, House Bill 1447 and newly proposed House Bills 6209 and 6210.

These suggested solutions jeopardize the constitutionally-protected retirement benefits already promised to thousands of retired state employees. Either choice will impose irreparable hardship on a large number of retirees and their families under highly questionable legality and the prospect of expensive litigation.

We exhort you to reject this hurried attempt at a solution that does virtually nothing to improve the fiscal condition of the State of Illinois. A much more comprehensive solution is needed.

One possible approach is to expand the tax on services or internet sales with the revenue generated dedicated to reducing State debt and catching-up on pension funding. Thus, the burden of the solution would be shared by state retirees, state employees and the other approximate 12 million residents of the State. Developing an appropriate solution such as this cannot be compacted into a brief special session of your General Assembly.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.


Bruce Strom, President
Retired State Employees Association

**Note: Each of the 177 Legislators was sent a letter addressed to them at their office in the State Capitol Building.