More Illinois Education Pension Abuse

-By Warner Todd Huston

The Associated Press reports that dozens of lobbyists and employees of private education-related groups as well as members of the Special Olympics are supposedly eligible for taxpayer funded pensions simply because these groups are or have been associated with Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.

Unfortunately, what has happened is that any person deemed an “employee” of the university is now legally allowed to take tax-funded pensions from the state despite what their jobs really are. The school has been very loose with its determinations of who is an “employee.” Just as unfortunate, state law allows full leeway to the state’s colleges and universities to determine who is an “employee” and this leaves much room for corruption.

The Chicago Tribune also reported on this and notes that an unknown amount of these so-called “employees” that are tangential to state schools are getting pensions already.

The Trib also notes that these so-called employees are not contributing very much to the pension plans during their “employment” with the schools. Worse, in some cases — the workers for the Special Olympics, for instance — the schools are paying the employee costs of the pensions and not charging these purported employees. That means tax money is going into the pensions and then right out again!

As wonderful as the Special Olympics is, workers of this charity organization should not be getting state pensions.

This is the sort of fraud and waste that we’ve come to expect in Illinois. If we had responsible politicians they’d be putting an end to these sorts of backroom deals that rip off taxpayers and reward political cronies.

The entire edifice of Illinois government is built on these illicit sweetheart deals for insiders. No wonder Illinois is the worst-of winner in nearly every category conceivable.

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