By Dennis Constant
Jim Edgar must bear much of the blame for the present mess in Illinois’ floundering government employee pension system, which is literally making pension millionaires of some of its recipients, including former Governor Edgar.
On May 27, 1998, Edgar signed into law Senate Bill 3, sponsored in the State Senate by St. Sen. Larry Bomke (R-50, Springfield) and Rep Raymond Poe (R-99, Springfield) in the State House. This allowed government school teachers and administrators outside of Chicago to retire after 34 years of teaching and receive 75 percent of their final pay. As most public high school teachers in Chicago suburbs retire with salaries over $100,000 gross pay for nine months employment (and administrators receiving 2-4 times this amount), the bill signed into law by Edgar is estimated to cost Illinois taxpayers over $25 billion over the next 47 years.