Thursday, March 7, 2013
IL Federation of Teachers' President Responds to Gov Quinn's Budget
In response to Governor Pat Quinn’s budget address, Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery issued the following statement:
"It is unfair for Governor Quinn to present this false choice between pensions or pencils. Springfield lawmakers created the massive pension debt by skipping payments and borrowing more. To call that debt an education expense is not only a gimmick, but an insult to teachers everywhere. We are not to blame, and our students shouldn't suffer.
Today, the Governor had a chance to lead, to endorse legislation that is fair and constitutional. That bill, HB 3162, would break the gridlock and help the state save billions of dollars. Instead, we heard the same tired rhetoric that has gotten us nowhere.
We didn’t create the pension funding problem, but we are willing to help solve it. Our bill includes our willingness to share in the sacrifice and contribute even more.
All of these other proposals attempt to balance the state’s budget on the backs of teachers and public employees. Polling shows a majority of taxpayers do not support this approach and neither should their representatives. Benefit costs are a mere fraction of our fiscal crisis, and so slashing our life savings is both unjust and pointless.
Yes, other revenue proposals will be needed, but lawmakers would be faced with the same tough choices when unconstitutional legislation is thrown out by the courts."