So today I drove over to the state Dept of Motor Vehicles to get a new license plate sticker for my car. My current sticker was expired – two months ago, which I noticed just the other day. In the past, the Illinois Secretary of State sent out reminder post cards about the need to renew one’s 12-month plate sticker. But due to a budget crisis in Illinois, as I now have learned, the Secretary of State is no longer does that. One more thing to keep track of.
Quite coincidentally, just this morning I read a brief report from the Illinois Policy Institute, a good-government watchdog organization. Here’s a part of that message:
For years, Illinois taxpayers haven't been represented at the bargaining table between Illinois' largest government union and the state. Illinois' former governors cared more about appeasing the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees than protecting the taxpayers the governors were supposed to represent. That's how AFSCME workers have become some the highest-compensated state workers in the nation.
AFSCME wants to remove the governor from contract negotiations because union officials know [Gov.] Rauner will not agree to [their] outrageous demands. Union leaders are demanding $3 billion in additional salary and benefits for union members in a new contract. They're seeking four-year raises ranging from 11.5 to 29 percent, overtime after 37.5 hours of work per week, five weeks of vacation and enhanced health care coverage. Those additional demands would come on top of the costly benefits that AFSCME workers already receive.
Here are four facts about [Illinois] state-worker compensation the union doesn’t want taxpayers to know:
1. Illinois state workers are the highest-paid state workers in the country [when compensation is adjusted for the cost of living]
2. AFSCME workers receive Cadillac health care benefits
3. Most state workers receive free retiree health insurance
4. Career state retirees on average receive $1.6 million in pension benefits. [O]ver half of state workers end up retiring in their 50s.
By the way, the State of Illinois is functionally bankrupt, as are the City of Chicago and the Chicago Public School System, all long-controlled by Democrats and all of which are kept afloat through financial chicanery and legerdemain. But, as the saying goes, they have all finally run out of other people’s money, and the slight-of-hand isn’t working any longer. But don’t try to tell that to the Democrat government worker unions.