Chicago, IL- Reform legislation sponsored by Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) that addresses several high profile pension abuse cases was signed today by Governor Quinn. House Bill 3813 limits the ability of City of Chicago workers from accruing public pension credits while on a leave of absence to work at a labor union.
"This legislation closes doors that should have never been opened in the first place," Senator Raoul said. "Illinois taxpayers should not be asked to subsidize the retirement of union leaders who have used the pension system for their own financial gain."
Raoul introduced House Bill 3813 after a series of investigative reports by the Chicago Tribune and WGN which showed several top union officials receiving or who were set to receive public pensions that were based on their salaries at their union positions. Many of these officials were eligible to receive public pension credit due to previous work for the city before taking a leave of absence to work for a union organization. The amount of their public pension, however, was dramatically inflated due to the often higher salary received while working for a union. Many of the mentioned individuals were also collecting union pension credit at the same time, allowing them to collect two pensions.
"At a time of increased concern about the long-term viability of our pension systems, it was imperative that we corrected a system that rewarded those who did not deserve pension credit," Raoul continued. "I would like to thank Governor Quinn for his support of this legislation that will guarantee the secure retirements of our teachers, laborers and other workers."
House Bill 3813 prohibits city employees from earning pension credits if that employee is also receiving pension credits from a union organization. Additionally, this legislation repeals previous legislation that allowed two Illinois Federation of Teachers employees to earn credit in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS).
House Bill 3813 passed the Illinois Senate on a 50-0 vote in November and was signed today in Chicago by Governor Quinn.
Years served: 2004 - Present
Committee assignments: Criminal Law (Vice-Chairperson); Insurance; Labor and Commerce; Judiciary (Chairperson); Public Health; Committee of the Whole; Public Pensions & State Investments (Co-Chairperson); Subcommittee on CLEAR Compliance (Sub-Chairperson); Conference Committee on SB1 (Chairperson).
Biography: Attorney; born September 30, 1964; Bachelor's degree from DePaul University; J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law; married (wife, Kali), has two children.