#1 Quinn signs bill requiring retirees to pay part of health insurance06-21-2012, 05:08 PM
Gov. Pat Quinn today approved legislation requiring thousands of retired state employees to chip in on the costs of health care insurance that many of them get for little or nothing.
The law attempts to rein in the state’s rising costs but also seeks to share the expense with the 78,000 retirees who pay no premiums for their insurance now.
The Quinn administration will set premiums each year for the group health program, which includes retired judges, lawmakers, university employees and rank-and-file state workers.
Currently, retired legislators get free premium health insurance after four years, retired judges after six years and retired state and university employees after 20 years of service — one of the most generous plans in the country.
The annual cost to taxpayers is nearly $800 million and threatens to hit $1 billion in the new budget year that begins next month if left unchecked, according to legislative supporters.
How much each retiree will pay will be determined in part by how much they receive in pension. The pension payments will be broken into seven tiers. The higher the tier, the more the retiree would pay.
The law takes effect July 1, but final decisions on rates will be made following labor negotiations and approval by the a legislative oversight panel, Quinn’s office said.
In a statement, Quinn said retirees deserve access to quality health care. He said insurance costs should be more balanced and based on actual retirement income. “We also have a duty to taxpayers to ensure these plans are cost-efficient and put Illinois on the path to fiscal stability,” Quinn said.
The governor’s action immediately was criticized by the president of the retirees chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Virginia Yates of Centralia, who worked 27 years at the Murray Developmental Center, said Quinn’s comments represent “political doubletalk.”
“Seniors like me and 114,000 other retirees and dependents already pay $3,000 a year or more in co-pays, deductibles and premiums,” she said in a statement. “By cutting retiree health care at the same time he’s handing out hundreds of millions in tax giveaways to big corporations, Governor Quinn shows his priorities are out of touch.”
Sen. Jeff Schoenberg, the Evanston Democrat who first pressed the issue a year ago, said the move is “absolutely necessary to protect the quality and affordability of health insurance” for retired public workers, particularly those on fixed incomes with no other coverage.
Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, said the move is a “step Illinois must take to right the financial ship” because the plan in place now is “unsustainable and taxpayers are on the hook for programs they cannot afford.”
06-21-2012, 09:18 PM
- Join Date
- May 2008
- Locked in a Dungeon, being tortured and LOVING IT!
Its worse then that. And what Quinn is doing, may turn Ill. Red next election.
First of which. Quinn is going to shift all Pensions for teachers to the schools they teach in. This is going to hurt all schools hard as they don't have the funds to cover the lavish benefits best-ode on the teachers and retirees.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois schools could see costs rise by nearly $600 million after five years of a plan to make them shoulder the expense of providing pensions for teachers, according to new figures meant to support Gov. Pat Quinn's argument for shifting some state retirement costs to school districts.
But critics remained dubious Tuesday. They said that amount — a small percentage of overall education spending — could still force many districts to cut programs and staff or raise local taxes. They also questioned whether reliable estimates are possible with such a complex, changing issue.
Its these very districts that negotiated the sweetheart deals that is bankrupting the state. What Quinn is doing, is saying. "You made these deals. You pay for them".
The state has no intentions of aiding by increasing funds to the state. So schools will ether have to cut programs and staff. Or raise property taxes. In upwards of double or more.
Get ready to see even more jobs sprinting from Ill. at record pace.
Then Quinn turns around. Looks at the schools reserve funds they must keep. (Can't find the article) and says. "I think I have some thing to spend that on." And trust me. Its not the debt or pensions.
Then he turns around. The State Congress says. "Here is the funds to keep the prisons open".
He says. "Nope, I'm shutting most of them."
Springfield, Ill. —
First reported through a memo and later confirmed by the governor’s office Tuesday, Gov. Pat Quinn has decided to go ahead with closing two adult prisons, three transitional centers and two facilities for juvenile offenders. One of the prisons is in Dwight and one of the youth facilities is in Joliet.
According to the Associated Press, Quinn spokeswoman Kelly Kraft confirmed the memo’s contents concerning Quinn’s plan to shutter the seven facilities, despite receiving a budget with funds to keep the prisons operating.
Well Ill must have extra space in their prisons for all this right. About 1400 prisoners that must be housed somewhere else.
Closing them will mean squeezing more inmates into the remaining prisons, which are already seriously overcrowded. The system now houses about 14,000 more inmates than it was designed to hold.
Not to mention many of the lower level security prisons will have no choice but to take on seriously dangerous criminals as there will be no where else to put them.
Oh... the fun about to befall Ill.Rest In Peace America
July 4, 1776 - January 20, 2009
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