Kinzler wants to renegotiate, reform pension benefits
Gordon “Jay” Kinzler is running against incumbent Rep. Deborah Conroy (D-Villa Park) for Illinois' 46th House District and he is dismayed with current lawmakers’ attempts at dealing with the state’s pension crisis.
He knows, however, the first steps they should take.
"First, stop digging the hole deeper by placing all new hires in a 401(k) defined benefit program," Kinzler told the DuPage Policy Journal. "No new hires will get a pension," Kinzler told the DuPage Policy Journal. “Second, negotiate with current pensioners and those currently in the system, a reasonable plan that will extend the ability of the state to live up to previous promises."
Wirepoints, a research firm that studies Illinois’ economy and government, recently reported that the primary issue with Illinois pension benefits is the growth of pension promises, not a lack of money.
Pension benefits have grown 1,061 percent compared to 1987, which is 236 percent more than total state general revenue, according to Wirepoints.com.
Kinzler believes pension reform is necessary, and it will also lead to lower property and income taxes.
"Currently 25 percent of the state budget goes to pay pensions," Kinzler said. "This will continue to go higher. Much of that money could be going to maintaining core services for those truly in need. We can also decrease the tax burden on taxpayers. High taxes are driving taxpayers out of the state. Those are the same people we need to stay and help pay Illinois’ huge pension liability that has built up during the years of overpromising."
The Republican candidate also said that pension reform would also free up money for education and health care. No other measure of Illinois’ economy comes close to matching the growth in promised benefits, and they are overwhelming the state’s economy and taxpayers’ ability to pay for them, he said.
“Irresponsible increases in benefits leave no choice but to cut benefits further, which will require either a constitutional amendment or a negotiated federal bankruptcy law,” Kinzler said. “Lawmakers must create 401(k)-style plans for new workers going forward. Illinoisans shouldn’t be guilted into paying more into pensions through higher taxes. It’s time to end the narrative that forces ordinary Illinoisans to shoulder the entire burden of fixing the pension crisis.”