As one of her first official acts as a lawmaker in the Illinois General Assembly, State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) has rejected a legislative pension and declined participation in the State’s health insurance program.
“The Illinois pension systems are woefully underfunded, yet cost 23% of our entire state budget in 2018,” Mazzochi said. “Medical spending is the largest line item in the state budget. Pensions and medical together is over half of our state budget. Lawmakers need to be mindful of this before adding to that burden.”
Paperwork has been submitted to the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) and the Comptroller’s office stating the new legislator’s wishes to decline participation in the pension system and state health insurance program. “Math doesn’t lie. Let’s take our own fingers out of the pie to show we are serious about getting our fiscal house in order. By rejecting a pension, I am showing my commitment to address the pension crisis without any conflict of interest. Our residents want the state to stop digging itself into a bigger hole and start focusing on real reform.”
Illinois’ underfunded pension system has been identified as the worst in the nation. Today GARS is only funded at 14.9 percent, the lowest of Illinois’ five state retirement systems. “Pensions and pension debt is crowding out other essential areas of the budget to a point where critical service areas are not receiving the levels of funding they need,” Mazzochi said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and with stakeholders to find a fair and Constitutionally-sound solution to this critical problem.”
Residents who would like to express their opinions or concerns on this or other areas of policy are encouraged to email Representative Mazzochi through the contact form available at www.repmazzochi.com or call her office at (630) 852-8633.