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Madigan: School Districts Should Start Contributing To Teacher Pensions

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Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan

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ELMHURST, Ill. (CBS) – Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says local school districts haven’t been paying into their teachers’ retirement systems, and he thinks it may be high time that they did.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports that Madigan told an audience at Elmhurst College on Tuesday that part of Illinois’ pension crisis is difficult to understand.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

“In the current budget, our payment is about $4 billion – $4 billion to those five (pension) systems. One half of the $3 billion is the TRS, the Teachers Retirement System,” Madigan said.

TRS is the pension fund for teachers outside Chicago and Madigan said their employers, local school districts, do not contribute to teacher pensions. Aside from what teachers themselves pay into the system, the state picks up the tab, even though teachers are not state employees.

“I don’t think it’s out of line to ask the local districts ‘Why don’t you contribute to this cause? These are your employees,’” Madigan said.

No district outside of Chicago has volunteered to pay into the TRS system. In Chicago, the Chicago Public Schools do contribute to pensions for the city’s public school teachers.

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