Updated: February 24, 2013 6:36AM
My time as a member of the Illinois General Assembly officially ended Jan. 9. Serving in the Senate was a most gratifying experience. I was able to put my passions to work by doing my best to reflect the values and priorities of all my constituents.
I served at a truly unique time in Illinois history. On the one hand, I worked day to day with a colleague who would later become president of the United States. On the other hand, I would cast a vote to remove a sitting governor from office.
It is without question the most rewarding job I have ever had. The action was nonstop, there were opportunities to learn every day, and I feel that legislation I sponsored helped the residents of the 18th Senate District and the state of Illinois in a variety of ways.
My efforts would not mean anything however, without the support of all the communities I have had the privilege to serve. Thank you for your perspective, expertise and friendship.
Edward D. Maloney
Former state senator, 18th District
Reeder’s silly suggestion
If columnist Scott Reeder wants the “whining” around pensions to stop, I’d suggest that he start with himself. Better yet, maybe he can help come up with answers to the fundamental questions regarding the pension crisis that he left out of his Jan. 11 column, in which he called for Illinois to end its public pension systems in favor of 401(k) plans.
How will the state repay the roughly $96 billion unfunded liability owed to the systems? Does Reeder propose to allow the state to literally rob workers of the billions they are owed? Does he repay his personal debts or decide that it’s more convenient to not do so?
How does he propose fixing the revenue problem in Illinois? A progressive income tax? Elimination of corporate tax loopholes? And how will the elimination of the pension systems not be in direct violation of the state constitution?
Reeder provides an example of a 30-year retired university teacher who earns a pension of $91K as evidence of an exorbitant pension. But the fact is that most state retirees receive nowhere near such a benefit. Nearly 60 percent of retired teachers, for example, receive a pension of less than $50K, with the average state pension last reported to be around $32K.
And when he writes that “tragedy did not follow” when traditional pensions were dropped for workers in private business and industry in favor of 401(k) plans, it makes me wonder what planet Reeder has been living on.
Reeder supports the free-market philosophy that nearly destroyed the U.S. economy and protects the interests of the wealthy, regardless of who gets hurt.
Jerry Mulvihill Jr.