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6641 N. Greenview, APT 1 Chicago, Il 60626 Rep. Kelly Cassidy 5533 North Broadway Chicago, IL 60640 August 12, 2011 Dear Kelly, I am writing to tell you that I am concerned that the veto session will bring yet another unfounded, highly coordinated assault on Illinois' public pension systems from a coalition of people who don't believe in public education or public service. The Civic Committee, the Chicago Tribune, and the people behind Illinois Is Broke have been engaged in a withering campaign of misinformation about TRS and the other pension systems, creating a climate of fear and anxiety. It is your responsibility to legislate based on facts and your understanding of history and the Constitution; moreover, it's your job to stand up to people arrayed to undo many of the fundamentally good things about our state and nation. It is no coincidence that the same people who carp about TRS going broke “in 2018” are also regular cheerleaders for the dismantling of Social Security, Medicare, health care reform, and anything else that they perceive as interfering with tax cuts for wealthy people. If you were any other legislator, I would offer a long list of the lies and hyperbolic ravings that have dominated the discussion about “pension reform,” but I am aware of your background, and I know that you have a deep understanding of these matters already. So I would like to ask you some questions instead, and I hope you will take some time to respond. Do you think that the average TRS pension of $42,782 is extravagant, given that teachers to not receive Social Security for their years of teaching service? Do you think TRS is about to go broke, given that the pension system has been underfunded for 50 years and has never missed a pension check, that it has exceeded its investment goals year after year, and that the “unfunded liability” never comes due at once? The Tribune has been particularly devious in confusing the public about this issue-- they do the same thing with Social Security. Will you be willing to explain to the people of Illinois that the state's actual 2012 pension contribution is $1.6b, and that the remaining $4.8b is the cost of playing “catch-up” on decades of underfunding? I understand that people are concerned about their taxes, but the historic underfunding has created confusion about the cost of pension benefits versus the cost of “kicking the can down the road” when it comes to making the state's annual payment. What do you think the words of the Constitution mean, as related to the pensions? Which of the seven court cases related to Article XIII, Section 5, over the last 38 years guide your thinking? So many questions. Kelly, I would like to help you stand up for the public pensions with the people of your district. If there is anything I can do to help you communicate the truth about our pension systems to the people of the district --if there is any outreach you need to do, I absolutely volunteer to help. Best regards, Tim Furman

timothyfurman@gmail.com

614-507-8370


Pension Letter, Veto Session