The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

May 31, 2012
Last-minute public pension bill enrages Illinois lawmaker

Illinois State Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, blew a gasket on Tuesday after leaders in the Democrat-controlled General Assembly delivered new pension-reform legislation at the end of the session's last day. The video above captures Bost's blast, which included throwing the bill into the air, punching at the cascading papers and quoting Moses' words to Pharaoh: "Let my people go."

On Wednesday, Bost explained that the bill's last-minute introduction in the waning moments of the 2012 session set him off.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Republicans didn't like the bill "because of a gradual cost shift from the state to suburban and Downstate school systems, which for the first time would have to pay teacher and administrator pension costs instead of the state."

That would trigger either education cuts or tax hikes that suburban and Downstate Republicans can't tolerate.

House Speaker Mike Madigan dropped his proposal late Wednesday night.

Illinois unfunded state public pension obligations reportedly total $83 billion.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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