Retired lawmakers costing taxpayers millions in pension payouts

The state of Illinois sees some of the largest pension payouts in the nation, which costs taxpayers millions of dollars. (Photo courtesy Flickr)

By Patrick Baron

BLOOMINGTON – Funding pensions for retired lawmakers falls to the taxpayers, and one advocate is calling to end the “pension palace”.

Illinois has some of the largest pension payouts in the country. Adam Andrzejewski, CEO and founder of, said Illinois taxpayers pay millions of dollars to fund pensions. He explained former lawmakers like Arthur Burman, who receives over $250,000 every year from his pension, are crippling taxpayers.

“This is a bubble. This bubble is going to burst,” Andrzejewski said. “When it bursts, we’re on the hook – like normal, it always gets worse – we’re on the hook for tens of millions of dollars for a very, very small couple hundred people to fund their pensions.”

Andrzejewski urged taxpayers to keep up the pressure. He said taxpayers need to continue asking questions in order to get more lawmakers to opt out of the pension system.

“Right now I think there’s only about 137 members that have opted into the system, the rest have opted out,” explained Andrzejewski. “The pressure from campaigns and asking these questions, from these oversight pieces, it’s taking an effect and saving taxpayers millions of dollars in the future.”

Andrzejewski said he reached out to democratic candidate for governor JB Pritzker to ask if he would refuse a pension payout, but did not receive a response. Governor Bruce Rauner has opted out of the state pension system and turned down a state salary.

Patrick Baron can be reached at [email protected].


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…