ROCKFORD, Ill. – As one of his first pieces of legislation, state Rep. Dave Vella, D-Rockford, filed House Bill 2428 to prohibit future legislators from receiving a taxpayer funded pension when they leave office. This is following Vella’s own decision to refuse a pension for being a legislator.
“We need to make sure we are not wasting resources to fund unnecessary perks for politicians,” said Vella. “As our state continues to face financial problems, we should not be adding new financial burdens by promising to pay for the retirements of career politicians.”
As Illinois continues to face financial problems only worsened by the pandemic, the state continues to pay for the large pensions of former legislators and each year new General Assembly members are added to the General Assembly Retirement System promising continued payments by the state for decades to come. Vella’s recently filed House Bill 2428 would break the cycle by prohibiting future legislators from receiving a publicly funded pension for being a legislator. He introduces this legislation after his own decision to refuse a pension.
House Bill 2428 is one part of Vella’s commitment to ethics reform and restoring faith in state government. In addition to ending legislator pensions, Vella is also sponsoring legislation to stop pay raises and exit bonuses for politicians (House Bill 178 and House Bill 3104) and to put an end to the revolving door of legislators becoming lobbyists (House Bill 2389).
“We need to break the cycle of huge pensions for politicians and stop the abuse of Illinois taxpayers,” said Vella. “Our legislators are meant to be public servants working on behalf of all Illinoisans, but too many have decided to use public office and taxpayer dollars to cushion their own retirement.”