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-- Illinois public pension system has 83 billion dollars in unfunded liability that is the worst in the nation right away.
More than half of that pension -- 43 billion dollars is in the Illinois teacher retirement system.
Governor Pat Quinn has said he wants local school districts to pay more into the system.
Attorney Scott -- represents local governments and school districts in Chicago's south suburbs thanks so much for joining us what do you think of the governor's plan.
Well it's our understanding he'll be proposing.
Something today was was to announce something at -- from his pension panel.
Four elected representatives.
In our legislature.
But the idea of shifting the cost back to local districts requires a great deal of care and consideration of the revenue sources they have local school districts have access to.
So what do you think that I mean this seems like one possible solution to a problem that.
You know this -- from the outside looks almost unsolvable do you support the idea of shifting some of the cost back or worse state -- and should the state government have been putting.
That money in all along.
Well well there's no question there that they should have been putting the money and all -- this this problem comes to us from the state.
If there's agreement on anything in this situation is that the state has been the cause of the problem.
The -- -- a little bit more complicated.
Local government support local school districts clearly support pension reform.
And want to see changes to the system but the relief they would need to bear this enormous new cost.
Would be tax -- relief which doesn't exist currently -- with any proposal.
That comes from the legislature or the governor's office we clearly would need some new revenue source.
I mean there aren't there are a lot of new revenue sources -- I mean I think that's that's the biggest problem and and the reason we focus on this is because obviously.
You know Illinois is not the only place that is facing this problem we're seeing this all across the country where you know benefit should have been paid in overtime they weren't for one reason or -- there.
You know the teachers' pay to -- but now the money is not there.
So to go -- in cast blame.
You know ways is and -- -- you feel a little better but it doesn't sort of bring about a solution.
You know what what do you think the real solution is here do you think that that local governments will put in the money.
Well let's be clear.
They're local governments are prepared to meet their pension funding obligations.
There -- three parties to this problem.
The school districts local school districts the teachers who contribute to the system in the state.
There are two parties that have met their obligations since the creation of the system in 1938 and those of the teachers in the school districts they have never missed a payment.
The only entity that has missed his payments and its obligations is the state and that's why we have the problem we currently face.
Again local districts are fully prepared.
To a greater reform in the system and fund the system and a healthier fashion however what does that mean -- -- you have how would you -- assistant and a healthier way going forward what does that mean well.
What we have to understand this local school districts are mandated.
To accomplish hundreds of things that have been sent to them by the Illinois legislature.
None of those have revenue associated with them so schools don't have additional.
Tax monies at this point to meet an enormous new obligation like pension funding.
However if there were tax cap relief or some other revenue source that follow this particular change.
In mid local districts responsible for the payments.
That's fine that's consistent with what what local districts could do but not without additional revenues.
Ari is a problem gonna folks obviously is happening Ellicott across the country Scott you're thanks so much for joining us.