ELMHURST - As one of her first official acts as a lawmaker in the Illinois General Assembly, State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) rejected a legislative pension and declined participation in the State’s health insurance program. Mazzochi is succeeding former State Rep. Patti Bellock, who resigned last month to head the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
“The Illinois pension systems are woefully underfunded, yet cost 23% of our entire state budget in 2018,” Mazzochi said. “Medical spending is the largest line item in the state budget. Pensions and medical together is over half of our state budget. Lawmakers need to be mindful of this before adding to that burden.”
Mazzochi will be obtaining health coverage either through her private law practice or her husband's family healthcare policy, a spokesperson for the Republican House Caucus told Illinois Review.
“Math doesn’t lie," Mazzochi said. "Let’s take our own fingers out of the pie to show we are serious about getting our fiscal house in order. By rejecting a pension, I am showing my commitment to address the pension crisis without any conflict of interest. Our residents want the state to stop digging itself into a bigger hole and start focusing on real reform.”
Illinois’ underfunded pension system has been identified as the worst in the nation. Today GARS is only funded at 14.9 percent, the lowest of Illinois’ five state retirement systems. “Pensions and pension debt is crowing out other essential areas of the budget to a point where critical service areas are not receiving the levels of funding they need,” Mazzochi said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and with stakeholders to find a fair and Constitutionally-sound solution to this critical problem.”
Good for her.
Good!! Now lets reduce the administrative cost of Government.
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