HR0038HAM001LRB100 06901 MST 23104 a


2    AMENDMENT NO. ___. Amend House Resolution 38 as follows:
3by deleting everything and replacing it with the following:
4    "WHEREAS, Article X, Section 1 of the Illinois Constitution
5provides our shared principle that "A fundamental goal of the
6People of the State is the educational development of all
7persons to the limits of their capacities; the State shall
8provide for an efficient system of high quality public
9educational institutions and services; education in public
10schools through the secondary level shall be free; there may be
11such other free education as the General Assembly provides by
12law; the State has the primary responsibility for financing the
13system of public education; and
14    WHEREAS, Illinois' continuing budget crisis and slow
15economic recovery has motivated discussion on how to save the



HR0038HAM001- 2 -LRB100 06901 MST 23104 a

1State money, including a misguided proposal to shift the
2State's funding of the normal pension cost for the State
3Universities Retirement System and the Teachers' Retirement
4System to local entities, such as school districts and
5community colleges, and to public universities; and
6    WHEREAS, Decades of the State's chronic mismanagement of
7funds and failure to adequately fund its five pension systems
8has resulted in a ballooning pension payment that has been
9crowding out funding to critical State programs and services
10for education, human services, and public safety; and
11    WHEREAS, The FY18 projected normal cost for the State
12Universities Retirement System will be $424.9 million and for
13the Teachers' Retirement System will be $967.5 million; and
14    WHEREAS, If these costs were combined they would represent
15a pension liability shift from the State to local governments
16of $1.392 billion for FY18 alone; and
17    WHEREAS, Illinois already has one of the largest
18residential property tax burdens in the nation; and
19    WHEREAS, The consideration of a State cost shift of this
20magnitude, particularly when it is combined with the Property
21Tax Extension Limitation Law, will dramatically impact a school



HR0038HAM001- 3 -LRB100 06901 MST 23104 a

1district's and community college's ability to allocate funds to
2pay for the normal cost of pensions; and
3    WHEREAS, The Property Tax Extension Limitation Law hinders
4the ability of a school district and community college to
5increase revenues to accommodate a significant cost shift of
6State obligations to local budgets; and
7    WHEREAS, The proposed cost shift would force significant
8local budget reductions, which means teacher layoffs and
9reductions in curricular offerings; and
10    WHEREAS, High property tax burdens in combination with the
11pervasiveness of school district financial instability, the
12unpredictability in State funds directed towards education,
13and a whole host of statutorily required unfunded mandates have
14made it especially hard for local school districts to operate
15effectively; and
16    WHEREAS, It is anticipated that the cost shift for the
17State Universities Retirement System will force community
18colleges and universities to raise tuition in order to cover
19the increased costs; and
20    WHEREAS, The unpredictable nature of pension costs makes it
21difficult to provide an accurate account of the total impact of



HR0038HAM001- 4 -LRB100 06901 MST 23104 a

1a cost shift to local taxing districts, and it is even more
2difficult to ask a school district or institution of higher
3education to plan for these unknown factors over time; and
4    WHEREAS, The concept of shifting additional financial
5burdens onto the State's already cash-strapped school
6districts and institutions of higher education would
7ultimately raise property taxes and increase tuition; and
8    WHEREAS, It is unfair and reckless to transfer an already
9well-established State financial responsibility onto local
10taxing districts, especially during this time of financial
11uncertainty; therefore, be it
14normal cost of pensions for our State educators is the
15responsibility of the State; and be it further
16    RESOLVED, That the current budget crisis should not be used
17as a reason to shift its financial responsibility for State
18pension costs to the local taxpayers."