GOP Rep. Wehrli claims Pritzker 'has turned his back' on teachers outside of Chicago
Republican State Rep. Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) thinks Gov. J.B. Pritzker may need a refresher course outlining his job responsibilities.
“He needs to understand that he’s responsible for the welfare of the entire state of Illinois and not just Chicago,” Wehrli told DuPage Policy Journal. “When you see him doing things like paying more into the pension system for Chicago teachers while underfunding other systems, it sends the message that he’s only concerned about that part of the state.”
Wehrli isn’t alone in his criticism of the new governor. The Illinois Retired Teachers Association has come out in stark opposition to a plan that would underfund teacher pensions outside of Chicago by as much as $500 million. Critics also point out that Pritzker’s latest stance is in complete contrast to the position he took as a candidate, when he talked about paying more into all pension systems.
“It’s amazing how quickly the governor has turned his back on downstate teachers,” Wehrli added. “Government officials need to understand when they are elected to take care of the entire state and not just Cook County. The proposed progressive tax is another example of that. It seems like the governor just wants to take money from areas that have been successful and send as much of it to Chicago as he can. I’m tired of Chicago looking at areas that are successful as a piggy bank. You can’t just keeping going back to taxpayers whenever something goes wrong like Democrats always seem to do.”
Wehrli vowed to continue doing all he can to change what he sees as a system that’s out of whack.
“I’m trying to implore all my colleagues out of Chicago to prioritize spending and understand that it’s important that more than just Chicago works,” he said.
In all, unfunded pension liabilities in Illinois are pegged to be in the range of around $135 billion.