ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – State Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, is praising last Friday’s decision by the Illinois Supreme Court to uphold a Manley-backed 2019 law which consolidated nearly 650 police and fire pension funds into two statewide funds.
“Pension debt is a major issue facing both state and local government in Illinois,” said Manley. “After decades of pension reform efforts failing to pass through the General Assembly or being struck down in the courts, the decision by the Illinois Supreme Court to uphold the downstate police and fire pension consolidation law is a much-needed step forward in our efforts to reduce our pension liabilities and get relief to taxpayers.”
With the support of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police, and the Illinois Municipal League, Manley joined bipartisan efforts to consolidate 649 downstate and suburban police and fire pensions into two statewide funds. The consolidation of the local funds reduces administrative expenses and eliminates redundant costs while allowing the statewide pension fund to access greater investment opportunities than a local pension fund could have alone. Through this, the consolidation is expected to add billions of additional dollars into the pension system, providing property tax relief while stabilizing the retirement funds for tens of thousands of police officers and firefighters across the state.
“For far too long, making necessary reforms to our pension system was put off or ignored, leading to the problem we face today,” said Manley. “We can no longer afford to ignore this issue, and finding commonsense reforms, such as the police and fire consolidation law, is key to reducing our pension liabilities and providing relief to local taxpayers.”