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Anybody Hunt Iowa Public?
Illinois
Contributors to this thread:
Zim1 06-Mar-17
reload 11-Mar-17
Zim1 13-Mar-17
Zim1 24-Jun-17
jstephens61 24-Jun-17
Zim1 26-Jun-17
jstephens61 26-Jun-17
MikeS 05-Jul-17
Zim1 07-Jul-17
jstephens61 07-Jul-17
Zim1 18-Jul-17
jstephens61 18-Jul-17
Dpat 19-Jul-17
Zim1 20-Jul-17
jstephens61 21-Jul-17
Zim1 22-Jul-17
1boonr 23-Jul-17
MikeS 29-Jul-17
Zim1 15-Aug-17
Zim1 15-Aug-17
jstephens61 15-Aug-17
Zim1 15-Aug-17
Dpat 15-Aug-17
Dpat 15-Aug-17
awh302 15-Aug-17
jstephens61 15-Aug-17
Reload 17-Aug-17
Zim1 19-Aug-17
jstephens61 19-Aug-17
Reload 21-Aug-17
Zim1 07-Oct-17
jstephens61 08-Oct-17
Zim1 09-Oct-17
Bentstick81 09-Oct-17
starbux 09-Oct-17
starbux 09-Oct-17
Franzen 09-Oct-17
starbux 09-Oct-17
drbonner 10-Oct-17
deerhunter72 10-Oct-17
Zim1 10-Oct-17
deerhunter72 10-Oct-17
Zim1 11-Oct-17
deerhunter72 11-Oct-17
jstephens61 11-Oct-17
Zim1 11-Oct-17
deerhunter72 11-Oct-17
Zim1 11-Oct-17
Zim1 11-Oct-17
showme 26-Oct-17
From: Zim1
06-Mar-17
Curious if any other Illinois Bowsite members apply for deer tags in Iowa? Since moving here 10 years ago I continued to do Iowa every 4 years when I could draw. A $500 hit is rough compared to 2 buck tags/$26 each, but I still feel like the quality of the public is no comparison. I've scouted and hunted a lot of public in Illinois, but the hunter competition is overwhelming, and grossly diminishes the experience. Especially unlimited TN, GA, MS, AL, LA & MI hunters. Just finished 2 days of scouting at JEPC, and the deeper I hiked into the most remote corners, the more stands I found, yes even in March. I just don't deal with this on the Iowa public due to the NR quota. Trying to decide if I should continue and burn my points again.

From: reload
11-Mar-17
Yes, drew last year and had the best 5 days I've had in the timber compared to the last 5 years here at home. Multiple encounters every day, every single young buck was extremely aggressive, sign everywhere. I had never set foot on the area prior to arriving Nov.4th last year. By the third day I shot a buck that I was unable to recover, and killed a buck 2 days later. It takes a month or better on average to get an encounter here at home with a mature buck, unlike several years ago. I came home from Iowa determined to fill my second Illinois tag and hunted 18 days, 9 days passed without seeing a single deer. It will improve here in my local area eventually, but in the mean time, I will spend a week out of state and get more encounters than I can here at home in a season. My trip to Iowa was an eye-opener and I'll draw Kansas every year to get my whitetail fix until an Iowa tag comes again. FWIW, it took me 4 points to draw unit 6, good luck

From: Zim1
13-Mar-17

Zim1's embedded Photo
Zim1's embedded Photo
After my Iowa scouting trip the last three days I'm definitely cashing my points. I want a real hunt where you actually see mature bucks, not IL ghost bucks.

From: Zim1
24-Jun-17
Successful in the Iowa draw for zone 5 with 3 points. Glad I put the extra time in scouting this year. I'm going to leech all I can out of this hunt because my punishment for tagging out will be staring out over the empty Illinois public wasteland and Mississippi license plates for the remainder of the season. Good incentive.

From: jstephens61
24-Jun-17
Not sure where you live, but maybe you should consider driving south a bit.

From: Zim1
26-Jun-17
Thanks but my job takes me to every corner of the state. I live in St. Charles but travel for work 1/3rd of my time, as far south as Cairo last ten years. The 15 years before that I hunted WC public regularly, so back to 1989. I've likely scouted and/or hunted more IL public land than anyone on this site. Probably a LOT more. I scout new properties every year. So this is a huge sample size. Overall quality ended here in the mid 1990's. The rare exception is the first year new properties opened, such as Midewin in 2004. The few properties that were good were definitely moving targets. Within the last 9 months alone, I actually scouted or hunted seven southern IL public properties, including the Shawnee. Always looking. Yes, there are fewer Mississippi plates because they target WC first. But regardless, quality sucks down there compared to Iowa or 1992 Illinois. They are no more than glorified ghost hunts. Everything is relative. Perhaps our ideas of quality deer hunts differ significantly. Last year I ran across a four acre area of public in Iowa where I saw more 8"+ rubs than I counted on Illinois public in the last 20 years combined. There is indeed no comparison at all.

From: jstephens61
26-Jun-17
Well, heck, sounds like I got nothing to offer.

From: MikeS
05-Jul-17
" Last year I ran across a four acre area of public in Iowa where I saw more 8"+ rubs than I counted on Illinois public in the last 20 years combined."

ZIM1, you are preaching to the choir! Like an idiot, I will still be out there on numerous pieces of over-hunted public property that my taxes pay for in this incompetently run state.

From: Zim1
07-Jul-17
OK, Sounds like you might be a candidate to help me push the petitions I am putting together now to propose changes. Sent emails to both my state representative and the ILDNR on how to go about this properly.

From: jstephens61
07-Jul-17
Ken, are you a wildlife biologist? Not being rude, just interested in your qualifications.

From: Zim1
18-Jul-17
"Ken, are you a wildlife biologist? Not being rude, just interested in your qualifications." Actually that is the beauty of living in the United States. Anyone is free to voice their opinion about pretty much anything. But in my case I'm actually more qualified than 99% of the Illinois wildlife biologists who lean on a water cooler all day counting the hours until their outrageous, unsustainable state employee pensions kicks in, while I slave away to pay for them. You see I've been scouting and hunting public properties in Illinois, Iowa & Kansas for 30 years and have witnessed the dramatic decline in the Illinois herd first hand. This goes back to when many of the biologists, CO's & politician's mama's were changing their diapers. So I don't think I'm pretty qualified, I'm certain of it. I watched special interest groups stuff pockets. I watched Blagojevich raid the sportsman's fund twice. I paid the taxes that bought our state properties. I don't base my opinion on who is lining my pockets. In Illinois, If anything I'm overqualified.

From: jstephens61
18-Jul-17
So in simple terms, No. Just another narrow minded pompous blow hard that thinks he know everything about things he's never done or seen based on 30 years of personal but limited knowledge. Is that about right? Coming from a 30 IDNR employee, who has never seen or has any idea where the water cooler is at.

From: Dpat
19-Jul-17
Zim1 How long have you lived in Illinois? It seems like you lived in Indiana for a good while you could always go hunt there. Hunting is something I enjoy, so glad I don't have your incredibly bitter/negative attitude about hunting and life.

From: Zim1
20-Jul-17
JS, Your post is a sarcastic joke, right?

From: jstephens61
21-Jul-17
No

From: Zim1
22-Jul-17
LOL LOL LOL.....................Sorry I just can't stop laughing!!! Hahahaha

From: 1boonr
23-Jul-17
zim- it's your fault and only your fault that you rely on somebody else for a place to hunt. quit your bitchin! the taxes you pay go to many things other than a place for you to hunt. your tax dollars have bought a very small piece of the public hunting ground in Illinois. go hunt that square foot and stfu.

From: MikeS
29-Jul-17
Wow, I see this site is now being overrun with people from AT. Just when I thought I had found "greener grasses" on this forum away from this negativity and hatred.

Good luck to you all this upcoming season in your outdoor adventures!

From: Zim1
15-Aug-17
JS, More like a thief. Stealing from honest Illinois taxpayers for 30 years thanks to your corrupt union representatives. Pathetic, pompous blowhard thief. Why don't Illinois state employees get 401K's like the rest of us mere mortals? Private industry got rid of outrageous pensions decades ago.

Illinois Policy Institute Illinois Policy LABOR ILLINOIS STATE WORKERS HIGHEST PAID IN NATION By Ted Dabrowski, John Klingner

INTRODUCTION

Illinois’ biggest government-worker union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, is engaged in contract negotiations with the state in an attempt to boost its salaries and benefits. As part of its negotiation tactics, AFSCME claims its “middle class” benefits are under attack. That’s why union officials are demanding up to $3 billion in salary and benefits for union members.

AFSCME Illinois contract bruce rauner

AFSCME’s demands ignore four significant facts about Illinois state-worker compensation:

Illinois state workers are the highest-paid state workers in the country AFSCME workers receive Cadillac health care benefits Most state workers receive free retiree health insurance Career state retirees on average receive $1.6 million in pension benefits It’s not fair that Illinois residents, struggling with stagnant incomes in one of the nation’s weakest economies, continue to subsidize AFSCME benefits to such an extent.

Many other unions that contract with the state have recognized that taxpayers can’t withstand higher taxes to fund workers’ pay and benefits. Officials from more than 17 unions, including the Teamsters, understand the depth of Illinois’ fiscal crisis and have been willing to compromise and come to affordable contract agreements with the state.

AFSCME, which represents a mere 0.5 percent of Illinois’ total labor force (35,000 state workers out of a total 6.5 million workers), is putting undue pressure on the state and its finances.

AFSCME’s demands include new state-worker salary, health care and pension benefits. Specifically, AFSCME leaders are seeking four-year raises ranging from 11.5 to 29 percent, a 37.5-hour workweek, five weeks of vacation and enhanced health care coverage.

In contrast, Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed a reform plan as part of the ongoing contract negotiations with AFSCME. Under the governor’s plan, AFSCME workers would undergo a temporary salary freeze in return for new merit pay and incentive bonuses.

In addition, workers would also have their health care benefits modified. Under the reform plan, Illinois taxpayers would still subsidize 60 percent of AFSCME workers’ annual health care costs, while state workers would be asked to pay 40 percent of their costs, up from 23 percent.

It’s in the best interest of all Illinoisans to provide salary, health care and pension benefits that are affordable for both state workers and taxpayers. Instead of increasing benefits as AFSCME has demanded, the state should work to bring its employees’ total compensation more in line with what the private sector can afford.

From: Zim1
15-Aug-17

Zim1's embedded Photo
Zim1's embedded Photo
Should spend some actually managing game instead of cashing unsustainable pension checks. Illinois state employees and their union reps are truly a disgrace to the rest of the US. Sorry but I have zero respect for thieves nor their pompous opinions of how they "manage" (prostitute) our taxpayer paid for public lands. Illinois politicians and state game managers are total failures. This is a documented fact, not an opinion.

The quality of Iowa's public compared to Illinois is well supported by other posters in this thread. Their statements speak for themselves. Sorry I just find it totally laughable an Illinois state employee would brag about their 30 year epic fail. OMG

From: jstephens61
15-Aug-17
I would love to have a 401k that I controlled rather than the State pension. My IRAs have done considerablely better. You blame all this on state employees and the unions, but it's the legislators that hold the power over contracts and employees. It's been close to 10 years since I've had any increase in pay. How long do the think a business would last doing that? When was your last raise? I could take a job in the private sector and make more money, but I believe that I'm doing some good protecting the water you drink and making sure the l.ands of the state are not contaminated. What does any of this have to do with deer hunting in Iowa? Like I stated before, an expert in all things you've never seen nor done. Hope you have a great season.

From: Zim1
15-Aug-17
401K is in the words of my tax attorney "garbage" compared to an Illinois state pension. Highest in the United States. You are not going to get a pension like that in any private sector job. What action did you take in the last 30 years to get your state pension converted to a 401K? Petition legislators? Petition the union? Ya right.

What this has to do with Iowa is that Iowa doesn't piss away sportsman's funds to porkbelly state employee pension plans, and neglect basic services to taxpaying sportsmen. Wanna know what happens in Iowa or Wisconsin when you need a replacement hunting permit? You just go to your computer and print one out free, or to a Walmart POS readily available. Wanna know what Illinois does? I'm sure you know. You have to do it via snail mail 1970's style and wait a WEEK!, or if you need it quickly as is almost always the case, get in your truck and drive to one of only 6 designated DNR sites in the entire state. Last time I did this the address posted in the IL hunting regulations had an address 1/2 mile away from the office that moved 5 years previously! Freakin unreal no state employee can update an address for 5 years. Because there's no money as it was all pissed away on pensions. So what does Illinois do? Eliminate real NR quotas and prostitute its deer for $600 per tag. Then make a fake quota at whatever the number of tags were the previous year. ILDNR technology is 20 years obsolete compared to adjoining states. What an absolute joke. Now crossguns will be welcome statewide on all our public land. All for money. Not management.

In case you forgot, the three former Illinois governors in state penitentiaries were also state employees. https://capitolfax.com/wp-mobile.php?p=6841&more=1 And so was former Governor Quinn who penned this totally fake new public land propaganda. This property does not exist! This was staged simply to make him look good. https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/news/Pages/GovernorQuinnannouncespartnershipwithMetropolitanWaterReclamationDistricttoexpandpublicrecreationinFultonCounty.aspx

All state employees with bloated salaries and unsustainable pensions. What did you do about these things? What action did you take? Same as Mike Wickens? When leafing through the droves of nonresident permits issued at the JEPC HQ last time I was there, he was literally drooling over the money they generated like a crack head thirsty for his next fix. That's all he gave a rip about. Not who paid for that land, nor the quality of the deer herd. That's a fact.

And now we got Illinois state employees cashing porkbelly pension checks that I paid for telling me I should not have a voice in the state game management of the land I paid for. Really??? Delusional, much less arrogant. There is more than enough blame to go around for both legislators AND the ILDNR. Illinois junk bond status. Illinois deer management headed the same way.

From: Dpat
15-Aug-17
Zim1, It must be a hard stressful life to be so bitter towards everyone (your ex-wife, state employees, the state for not supplying you land so you can trophy hunt etc..) Have you even lived in Illinois 15 years? The way you state YOUR taxes have paid for everything you would believe you have paid taxes for a couple hundred years. Relax its a deer not the end of the world plenty of places to kill deer so what if they aren't huge bucks. Are you deer hunting or antler hunting? Have a great season

From: Dpat
15-Aug-17
Double post

From: awh302
15-Aug-17
As a person who will collect a pension one day I feel it's funny that everyone blames the state's downfall on the pension system. A little while ago when the economy was good nobody ever said anything about pensions. Now it's just easy to blame pensions for the state's poor allocations of money.

2nd off when you pick a career you can choose a job with a pension if you want, or you can choose one without. Life is full of choices and I thought of my future when I picked a career that includes a pension.

From: jstephens61
15-Aug-17
Which 3 ex governors are in prison? I can only think of 2, Rod B and George R. Is this more of your made up to suit you facts?

From: Reload
17-Aug-17
Zim, as a DNR employee that chose a career path that I truly enjoy, i find your statements beyond offensive. I don't disagree with you about our politicians and others that have run down our agency, but to make a blanket statement about all DNR employees is ridiculous. The few people that still work for DNR are truly passionate about what they're doing. To lay blame on such is misguided at best. Some forethought before you post such nonsense would go a long way towards civil conversation.

From: Zim1
19-Aug-17

Zim1's embedded Photo
Zim1's embedded Photo
Reload, What actions have you personally done to derail politicians doing your wildlife management job in Springfield in the last 25 years? Because during that time I have not asked that question to one DNR employee that could answer it. All I heard them chat about behind the counter was "how many days they had left". Since you are one, you must be familiar with Mike Wickens. I met with him personally about these issues. He could care less about deer quality at your "Crown Jewel" state wildlife area he managed. It was CLEARLY all about money. Same as the politicians. He openly admitted it to me.

I'm wondering why you think today Is called Conservation Day at the state fair instead of Exploitation Day? Any idea?

Very ironic today in the mail I got the only remedy to Illinois crappy public land. On Illinois "Conservation Day". At least there's one state left doing their job instead of just making excuses and cashing the highest salary & pension checks in the United States.

From: jstephens61
19-Aug-17
Zim1, why do you still live in this state that you hate so much? Please feel free to pack up and move to your beloved Iowa. If you feel that they do everything right, then I'd move there and quite complaining about everything wrong in Illinois.

From: Reload
21-Aug-17
All in favor say I!

From: Zim1
07-Oct-17
The only reason I'm still an Illinois resident is that I'm currently on a hunting trip to three states that manage their finances responsibly, as well as their public land hunting quality. Wildlife managed by wildlife managers, not politicians. Arizona, Wyoming & Iowa. When I return I'll be home shopping in Indiana and leave yourselves to pay the new 1.2% state income tax increase and fund your bloated & unsustainable state employee pensions & salaries in the first state with a junk bond status credit rating. I'll be joining the exodus. However, since I possess an Illinois lifetime hunting license, I will always be an IL wildlife management stakeholder. Good luck paying the bills.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-illinois-population-decline-met-20161220-story.html

From: jstephens61
08-Oct-17
Grass is always greener. Hope your job isn't a union job.

From: Zim1
09-Oct-17
I'm not union and I'm not changing jobs. I work very independently from home and throughout a five state area WI, IL, IN, MO & UP of MI. I definitely don't want to move I love St. Charles but I have no choice. I refuse to pay these rediculous democratic taxes. They have driven me out of the state. I could care less about the grass. What I am sure of is that my bank account will definitely be greener anywhere outside of Illinois.

When I bought my IL LL in 2007 I thought it would be a good investment, but politicians here are even exploiting that public resource with guns throughout the rut legislation. Everything in the state is mismanaged.

From: Bentstick81
09-Oct-17
"Everything in the State is mismanaged." Exactly! The first step in correcting a problem, is the State admitting, the State has a problem. As you can tell on here, DENIAL is strong, and the State is living proof.

From: starbux
09-Oct-17
We just moved out on September 1 as well. 2 engineer salaries gone just like that. I'm not paying any more to the eternal democratic reelection campaign there (except for my annual NR deer tag). I was smart enough to snag a lifetime sportsman license about 10 years ago as well. Property tax in CO is about 1/3 what I paid in IL. See you guys in a month for the rut...

From: starbux
09-Oct-17
...and no my job isn't a union job, but I did fund a lot of them up until a month ago.

From: Franzen
09-Oct-17
You didn't like paying the eternal democratic reelection campaign, but you moved to CO? I mean good for you for doing something about your situation. Odds are you will enjoy CO, but it's on a rather significant liberal slide. This isn't directly in response to you, but perpetual whiners are likely to whine no matter where and what conditions they live in.

From: starbux
09-Oct-17
Franzen, I didn't move to WY or ND so I understand that there is going to be some degree of liberalism. It doesnt even come close to the dark blue, union chokehold there in Madiganistan. Schools are amazing, roads are maintained, business and people are moving here in droves, state and national parks are maintained, etc. Go ahead and google total tax burden by state. IL was #2 behind NJ...but will regain the lead with the latest tax increase. I can deal with a degree of liberalism as long as I'm not funding it.

From: drbonner
10-Oct-17
If you're not happy with public land you always have options...

here's a few. https://www.whitetailproperties.com/hunting-land/filtered-search?category:state=36

http://www.landandfarm.com/search/Illinois/Hunting-Land-for-sale/

http://www.landwatch.com/Illinois_land_for_sale/Western_Region

From: deerhunter72
10-Oct-17
Hard to blame state employees for their pensions. They are people, just like everyone else, trying to make a living. You'd have to be living in a hole to not realize that this state has been strangled and bled dry by politicians and crooked governors. However, there is nothing wrong pension plans if they are properly funded. The problem here is that our lovely politicians have rarely fully funded the plans as law dictates.

MikeS- believe it or not, the Illinois forum used to be one of the most active on Bowsite. Threads like this one did it in a few years ago.

From: Zim1
10-Oct-17
Deerhunter72, You left out the fact Illinois state employee pensions are the #1 highest in the entire United States. Bloated average of 1.6 million dollars per employee is obscene. State employees and their AFSCME reps all need to get real lives and real jobs instead of using extortion to rob honest working taxpayers. I have no sympathy for any of them via any warped perspective you choose.

Drbonner, I already paid for my public lands and I will have a say in their management like it or not. Will begin with the three stooges as soon as I return from my trip.

From: deerhunter72
10-Oct-17
Zim1- Not all of the pension plans are the same, and I do agree that they are generous. I am not a state employee and I don't have a pension and I don't make a whole lot of money, however, if the stock market continues it's nearly 100 year average, my 401k with social security will be worth a lot more than a lot of state pension plans and my heirs keep the 401 when I'm dead. This is an option available to most private sector employees, all they have to do is save the money. Do you know how the pension plans are funded? Do you realize that they don't pay into social security and that for decades the state has stiffed people on payments due into their pension fund? Do you also know that when a state pensioner dies that the state keeps almost all of the money in that persons plan? Also, are you saying that teachers in this state don't have real jobs and that teachers are extortioners? I understand your view point, but your blanket statements are a bit much.

From: Zim1
11-Oct-17
As I stated previously, my tax attorney summed up the overall comparison by referring to 401K's as garbage compared to Illinois state employee pensions. My statement is quite clear about AFMCSE and all they represent. As far as teachers in Chicago & Illinois, they have the #1 most poorly funded pensions in the US due to their unsustainability. https://taxfoundation.org/state-pensions-funding-2017/ Chicago has the #1 highest teacher pensions of any city in the US, yet they still threatened a major strike for more this year. My step daughter just moved here from China to enroll at EMU for her masters degree in teaching and I got to give her an education in best states for her to teach in. It was interesting trying to explain the ticking time bomb that is the teachers unsustainable but lucrative salaries & pensions in a junk bond credit state. I just told her to study the numbers and know the risk if she chooses a career here. The whole thing will likely implode at some point. The numbers don't lie.

From: deerhunter72
11-Oct-17
The Illinois TRS is very poorly funded (one of the worst in the country), but that has nothing to do with unsustainably or flaw with the plan. The problem has always been that the legislature failed for decades to contribute the mandated funds. They got by with this because, until 2008, the stockmarket outperformed actuarial projections. The website you gave is correct, but again has nothing to do with unsustainable pension plans, it talks about accrued liability based on chronic underfunding. That article also concludes with the fact that "pension liability must be fulfilled eventually" and that may very well come down to TRS or teachers unions having to sue the state for contractually owed money. Also, you probably know know that a state cannot file bankruptcy.

You should be thrilled to know that Illinois teacher pensions already have a new tier of benefits that drastically reduces pension payments and increase years of service requirements. This went into effect Jan 1, 2011 and applies to all employees who start after that date. So, if your step daughter decides to teach in Illinois, you should be happy to know that she'll have to work longer to get less. That seems to be what you want.

One last thing, I come from a family of educators, from Illinois and many other states. None of them would tell anyone that they had a "lucrative" career. Anyone living on a teachers salary will tell you that they don't do it because they are getting rich.

From: jstephens61
11-Oct-17
I can't wait until he moves. I'll check on the Indiana forum from time to time, just to see how long it takes him to find fault with them. I hope someday Ken finds a place that does everything to his liking and he can be happy.

From: Zim1
11-Oct-17
"One last thing, I come from a family of educators, from Illinois and many other states. None of them would tell anyone that they had a "lucrative" career. Anyone living on a teachers salary will tell you that they don't do it because they are getting rich."

I'm sure 99% of all people in all professions would say the same about their professions. Everything is relative. But facts are facts. Chicago & Illinois both stack up as #1 when it comes to teacher salaries and pensions. Illinois is broke due to policies like this. This is also a fact. Teachers fund 4% of their income and leave 96% to the taxpayers. To state the teacher's pension fund is underfunded goes without saying. They never should have been paid so much in the first place.

No I personally would prefer my step daughter to pas on Illinois and select a stable state with a responsible budget. Only god knows what will happen to Illinois finances because no other state in the union has ever managed to attain a junk bond credit rating. But there are several other Midwest area states that I'd feel better she teach in, such as IN, OH & PA. I'm still researching these and advising her. She has two years to decide.

From: deerhunter72
11-Oct-17
"Teachers fund 4% of their income and leave 96% to the taxpayers". This is absolutely incorrect and proves to me that you don't know what you're talking about. At any rate, who is supposed to educate kids in this state and how are the teachers to be paid? According to you the only reason a person teaches in Illinois is to get rich by bilking taxpayers. You need to get a clue. Good luck finding a state where everything is ran according to your standards.

From: Zim1
11-Oct-17
That won't be difficult at all. 90% of that task is done just by excluding Illinois.

BTW my wife is a teacher!

From: Zim1
11-Oct-17
The 4% figure is in fact very conservative. Many pay zero % when you deduct the school kick backs....................

Public employee unions balked at pension reform when it was introduced this spring because they claim government workers already have “paid their fair share” by kicking in “8 percent, 9 percent or more from each paycheck” to their retirement funds.

But when it comes to public school teachers in Illinois, paying their own way to retirement isn’t the norm.

An analysis by the Illinois Policy Institute of data from the Teachers’ Retirement System, the Illinois State Board of Education and hundreds of teacher contracts found that in nearly two-thirds of districts across the state, teachers don’t contribute the full “employee share” toward their pensions. In fact, most of these districts don’t require their teachers to contribute anything toward their own retirement. Instead, the contributions are paid for or “picked up” by school districts – and by extension, local taxpayers. During the 2015-16 school year alone, this little-known perk cost taxpayers more than $430 million. This subsidy is on top of what the state – and by extension, state taxpayers – pay into the teachers’ retirement funds through district-paid employer contributions and state funding. To give a recent example, in 2015, the state paid more than $2.2 billion toward TRS to cover the “employer share” of the benefits.

The finding that most teachers do not pay into their own retirement funds sharply contradicts union claims that TRS members are paying their “fair share” to the state’s retirement system, and therefore pension reform should not be enacted.

This practice began many years ago, when school districts began picking-up the cost of teachers’ contributions to the pension system. By law, teachers are expected to contribute 9.4 percent of their salaries to their own retirement fund. But in the 2015-16 school year, 555 of the state’s 867 districts paid some or all of teachers’ required contributions as an added employee benefit.

In an environment in which rising property and income taxes are eating into household budgets, and spiraling pension costs are crowding out resources that could be spent in the classroom, this arrangement is both untenable and unacceptable.

From: showme
26-Oct-17
You go Zim After 15 years tell farmer I'm back. :]

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