Kinzler says teacher pension spiking 'adding kerosene to the fire' for state's taxpayers
Gordon Jay Kinzler, running for the 46th House District seat against incumbent Rep. Deborah Conroy (D-Villa Park), is distressed that teachers' salaries continue to rise even as they approach the end of their careers.
"One of the problems is when these local governments don't have to pay the pension costs it's easy for them to sit on their boards and say, 'oh, we'll spike their salaries in their last few years so they'll get these huge pensions,'" Kinzler told the DuPage Policy Journal. "The local governments do it because they're not on the hook, but then the state of Illinois taxpayers are on the hook to collectively have to pay these pensions."
Kinzler explained that the legislature passed that local governments could be penalized if they spike salaries by more than 6% per year, but this is still far too much in Kinzler's opinion.
"Number one, 6% a year is too much for anybody in the public sector, especially when you look at inflation which is less than 1% each year," Kinzler said. "A lot of these local governments still ignored that and spiked the salaries, which then led to penalties being put on the local governments from the state of Illinois."
Kinzler said that since the law passed Illinois school districts have had to pay more than $50 million in penalties, but the taxpayers still cannot escape the payments because they are still paying taxes to local governments.
"This is basically just adding kerosene to the fire by not being good stewards of taxpayers' money," Kinzler said. "As far as what can be done, I think that a law should be passed stating that you cannot spike the pensions period, and that people's pension should be determined by what their average salary is over their lifetime, not the last 4 years of their final salary."
The 46th House District includes Carol Stream, Glendale Heights and Villa Park.