After being robbed by the legislature and never reimbursing monies taken out of fund and never put back billions gone to whom?

May 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

The Chicago Teachers Union, or CTU, said it’s insulting to ask Chicago teachers to contribute their own money toward their retirements.

However, that setup is the standard for nearly ever other worker, government and private-sector employees alike. Retirement savings come from three components: employee contributions, employer contributions and investment returns.

But CTU officials think they should be the exception to that standard.

Chicago teachers are supposed to chip in 9% of their salary toward their retirement savings each paycheck. But currently the school district – and by extension, taxpayers – pays the majority of employees’ pension contributions. According to the Chicago Public Schools, or CPS, fiscal year 2015 budget:

“Employees also are required by statute to contribute 9% of their salary to pensions (called the ‘employee contribution’). However, CPS pays 7% of the 9% for a total of $134 million budgeted in FY15 for participants in CTPF. Non-teacher employees are part of a separate municipal pension system. CPS also pays 7% of the 8.5% employee contribution for these employees, at a cost of $40 million in FY15.”

That means requiring CPS teachers and non-teacher employees to cover the employee portion of the pension contribution would save CPS $174 million a year. And that’s just what the Chicago Board of Education has proposed.

But the CTU opposes that proposal, arguing the pickups were negotiated in the early 1980s in exchange for a salary increase. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “The union said CPS agreed in 1981 to pay for 7% of the 9% of each CTU member’s pension contribution in lieu of a raise the board said it couldn’t afford at that time.”

But out of the nearly 30,000 CPS employees today, only about 300 worked for the district during that contract negotiation. That means only 1% of current CPS employees were actually there when the agreement was signed.

The teachers benefiting from the negotiation have done nothing wrong. But all CPS employees need to realize their employer is on the brink of financial collapse.

CPS faces a budget deficit exceeding $1 billion. Recent corruption allegations are plaguing the school board. Moody’s Investors Service issued a double-notch credit downgrade to CPS earlier this year, dropping its rating just one level above junk. And when CPS later moved forward with a bond issuance, it paid a steep penalty compared with similarly rated bonds.

Ending teacher pickups is a simple, responsible way for CPS to save $174 million. It’s not out of line to ask employees to pay their share of the costs associated with their own retirement benefits. That’s a simple standard across most industries, public and private. And the pension benefits for CPS employees are certainly on the generous side – employees can retire as early as 55 with only 20 years of service or they can choose to work longer to reach the maximum pension benefit, which equals 75% of their final average salary with automatic increases every year for life.

A $174 million reduction in CPS spending would only make a small dent in the $1.1 billion budget deficit. But it is a good example of a sensible reform than can help modernize an outdated system.

Ben VanMetre
Director of Pension Reform

Scumbags up to their old tricks? Only favors scumbag Liars and the court with more Title IV Monies and ruins children’s lives with parents.

May 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

I know I have been remiss in my duties of keeping you all informed on legislation; but every so often, personal matters overwhelm us.

Lots of stupid shit is going on in Springfield. One in particular is SB57. SB57 is the new proposed Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (Divorce Law). The first real update in 35 years. It is supposed be (and is being sold as) based on the recommendations of the Illinois Family Law Study Committee. Hogwash. Instead, it is an eviscerated version. In other words, the lawyers (in particular the Bar Association)/judges/court whores stripped the most valuable recommendations, put in some shitty ones, and want us all to believe it is the update reflecting current social science. And they actually believe we are that stupid. (Unfortunately, they were able to convince the Senate of that. Now it is before the House.)

What you need to do (very very simple and takes a minute or two at the most – you may wish to register so that in the future, you just log on and the form is filled in for you.): Click on the link. Fill out the information, and select “opponent”. You do not have to give a reason. In fact, there is no option to give a reason.

http://my.ilga.gov/WitnessSlip/Create/83488?committeeHearingId=12949&LegislationId=83488&CommitteeHearings-page=1&_=1431027877804

Next, pass this on to all your friends, post on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you have family/friends/an audience. Then call your legislators and tell them absent some serious Amendments, this is a piece of garbage that does great harm to families and goes against social science.

Many thanks.

Leagally Kidnapped

May 5, 2015 § Leave a comment

Baltimore Riot Mom Toya Graham Is ‘No Hero’ For ‘Abusing’ Son, Columnist Says
El Paso foster parents accused of sexual abuse had 16 complaints filed against them in 10 years
PC Alberta slashes budget for office probing foster-care deaths
Aztec father accused of threatening adopted daughter with handgun
Former neighbor doesn’t believe Huerta’s abused foster kids
Varadkar to consider foster home abuse probe
US SENATE PROBING PRIVATE FOSTER CARE AGENCIES
May is National Foster Care Awareness Month – but no light will be shed on the abuse of children in the system
Child Protective Services Launch Investigation On Baltimore Mom Who Hit Son
Wabanaki TRC claims that Maine Child Welfare destroys native children and families to make them white
Fugitive El Paso foster parent surrenders to police
Baltimore Riot Mom Toya Graham Is ‘No Hero’ For ‘Abusing’ Son, Columnist Says
Posted: 01 May 2015 11:01 AM PDT
Baltimore Riot Mom Toya Graham Is ‘No Hero’ For ‘Abusing’ Son, Columnist Says

Toya Graham, the “Baltimore Riot mom” heralded for forcefully removing her teenage son from the chaos, is a hero in the eyes of many Americans.

El Paso foster parents accused of sexual abuse had 16 complaints filed against them in 10 years
Posted: 01 May 2015 09:55 AM PDT
El Paso foster parents accused of sexual abuse had 16 complaints filed against them in 10 years

The couple accused of sexually abusing two foster children in early 2000 had 16 complaints alleging abuse and neglect filed against them in the past 10 years, officials said.

PC Alberta slashes budget for office probing foster-care deaths
Posted: 01 May 2015 09:28 AM PDT
PC Alberta slashes budget for office probing foster-care deaths

Delonna Sullivan was four months and 13 days old when she was taken by Alberta child-welfare services on the morning of Tuesday, April 5, 2011. Her mother, Jamie Sullivan, said workers had papers to take children belonging to her roommate, but a mix-up led her baby into the foster-care system.
Aztec father accused of threatening adopted daughter with handgun
Posted: 01 May 2015 09:14 AM PDT
Aztec father accused of threatening adopted daughter with handgun

An Aztec man was accused earlier this month of placing a handgun against the head of his 16-year-old adopted daughter.
Former neighbor doesn’t believe Huerta’s abused foster kids
Posted: 01 May 2015 09:08 AM PDT
Former neighbor doesn’t believe Huerta’s abused foster kids

The search has ended for a foster father accused of molesting two children in his care 12-years ago!
Varadkar to consider foster home abuse probe
Posted: 01 May 2015 08:58 AM PDT
Varadkar to consider foster home abuse probe

Health Minister Leo Varadkar is to consider establishing a commission of investigation into the alleged rape of dozens of children in a foster home and the handling of the affair by health service officials.

US SENATE PROBING PRIVATE FOSTER CARE AGENCIES
Posted: 01 May 2015 08:54 AM PDT
US SENATE PROBING PRIVATE FOSTER CARE AGENCIES

The US senate has recently launched an investigation into private foster care agencies. This investigation is long overdue and follows recent media attention into violent deaths and child sex abuse in foster homes approved and supervised by National Mentor Holdings, a for-profit foster care agency. The company trades on the New York Stock Exchange and is paid millions of dollars by state and local governments. Reports uncovered that a National Mentor foster father molested his foster sons for 10 decades while the agency was responsible for monitoring the home. In another tragic case, a National Mentor foster mother murdered her two year-old foster daughter.

May is National Foster Care Awareness Month – but no light will be shed on the abuse of children in the system
Posted: 01 May 2015 08:23 AM PDT
As a reminder, this month you will see all kinds of heartwarming love stories of heroic foster care providers who open their hearts and homes to children in need. You will see a few of the 2% who make it to college or onto a successful life or whatever occasional success story they come across. You will see dinners honoring the Angels of Mercy who help kids, and a few names will be pulled out of the hat and named Foster Parent of the Year!

What you will not see is the needed efforts to stop families from being torn apart unnecessarily when they could be helped or what would be needed to stop abuse in the foster care system.

It’s all about perception people. If they can make it look good, the normal people buy it.

Pennsylvania DHS Recognizes May as Foster Care Awareness Month

Child Protective Services Launch Investigation On Baltimore Mom Who Hit Son
Posted: 01 May 2015 08:05 AM PDT
Child Protective Services Launch Investigation On Baltimore Mom Who Hit Son

“A woman seen hitting and berating a black-clad teenager, later confirmed to be her son, has been hailed as “mom of the year” after her intervention on the streets of Baltimore was caught on video. As violence flared up across the city on Monday, the woman, who was identified as Toya Graham on Tuesday afternoon, was filmed telling her child to “take that f—— mask off.”

Note: This mother’s actions were perfectly justifiable.
Wabanaki TRC claims that Maine Child Welfare destroys native children and families to make them white
Posted: 01 May 2015 07:56 AM PDT
Wabanaki TRC claims that Maine Child Welfare destroys native children and families to make them white

Cultural Genocide is a horrible thing. Children have every right to grow up knowing who they are and where they came from. I don’t care what race or nationality you are. You have the right to know your parents and your roots.
Fugitive El Paso foster parent surrenders to police
Posted: 01 May 2015 05:38 AM PDT
Fugitive El Paso foster parent surrenders to police

A man sought by police for almost a week after being accused of sexually assaulting foster children turned himself in Thursday, officials said.

The appearance that the appellate courts and supreme have not made constitutionally bad decision in Brend case?

May 5, 2015 § Leave a comment

The recent decisions coming out of the appearance of the most courpt district in changing constitutionally rights to people and granting freedom to bad attorneys free reign to rape and pillage families most of all the children they are to protect from whom themselves…..

Thanks the first district in helping the bar brothers and sisters and not the people .

Thanks judge Kilbride for your decent on the void issues!!!!!

Illinois is in the lead again on running more of the tax payers monies to the rich?

May 5, 2015 § Leave a comment

Illinois’ economy is sputtering. And it’s not because the state’s economic development agency isn’t doing its job. In fact, it’s partly because the agency exists in the first place.

For years, Illinois’ economic development agency, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, or DCEO, has thrown hundreds of millions of dollars at the biggest companies in the state, leaving taxpayers with the bill and small-business owners struggling to succeed on an unequal playing field.

The growth-through-giveaway approach has failed miserably – Illinois has 56,000 fewer people working since the DCEO’s biggest program got started in 2001. And privatizing the agency – as state lawmakers are now suggesting – won’t make it work.

A new proposal from state politicians, House Bill 574, would privatize much of the DCEO’s responsibilities, creating a public-private partnership entity called the Illinois Business and Economic Development Corp. This entity would “focus on business development, small and minority-owned business incubation, trade and investment, tourism and film.”

But whenever the state gives certain businesses grants or tax credits, the money has to come from somewhere: namely, taxpayers and other businesses.

The DCEO’s model has already proven a simple truth: Healthy economic growth doesn’t come from selective government handouts. If you measure the DCEO based on results, it has failed miserably. The largest DCEO tax-credit program is the Economic Development for a Growing Economy, or EDGE, tax credit, which began in 2001. The entire purpose of the EDGE tax credit is to incentivize businesses to expand and create new payroll jobs in Illinois. But after more than 13 years and nearly $1 billion in EDGE tax credits, the state is actually down 186,500 payroll jobs, a stunning record of failure.

What’s worse, for more than a decade, Illinois has been giving select businesses many millions of dollars more in tax credits than the law allows. The EDGE program is intended for companies seeking to expand and hire more workers in Illinois; not to help companies maintain existing workers.

But the DCEO has been giving tax credits to companies that simply retain employees. The Liberty Justice Center has filed a lawsuit, Jenner v. DCEO, which seeks to stop this illegal practice. The lawsuit alleges it’s possible that as much as half of the nearly $1 billion in EDGE tax credits approved over the life of the program violated the limits established in the law.

Not only is the DCEO handing out illegal subsidies, but politicians also make use of it to curry favor and create the illusion of jobs growth.

Former Gov. Pat Quinn did just that in October 2014, one month before he was up for re-election. That month alone, Quinn authorized $37.4 million in major grants to four big companies and two influential incubators.

Failed economic stimulus and rampant abuse of tax dollars always come into play when government gets into the business of picking winners and losers.

Knowing the DCEO is broken might make it tempting for politicians to create a public-private partnership to carry out similar functions. But public-private partnerships like the proposed Illinois Business and Economic Development Corp. won’t solve these fundamental problems.

In fact, privatizing could help shield the group from the same scrutiny that brought the DCEO’s usefulness into question in the first place. Transparency requirements, such as Freedom of Information Act requests and open records reporting, often do not apply in the case of public-private partnerships, leaving taxpayers in the dark on how their money is spent.

For example, Jobs Ohio, a similar program, has been plagued with a lack of transparency because the “public-private” hybrid structure allows it to be considered a private organization. The program regularly subsidized donors to Gov. John Kasich and his legislative allies, and Jobs Ohio ran ad campaigns to trumpet its economic success – not unlike how Quinn used Illinois’ DCEO.

The DCEO has been a mess – but in attempting to fix one problem, the state shouldn’t create new ones. Illinois shouldn’t have to bribe big businesses to set up and invest here.

Subsidizing legacy businesses misses the point of what actually drives jobs growth: Kauffman Foundation research shows that job creation is driven by younger firms in their first five years. Nationwide, businesses with fewer than 50 employees represent 95% of all U.S. companies.

Politicians should embrace economic reforms that make the state a place to which employers want to flock. That includes keeping the tax burden low, eliminating unnecessary red tape and reforming out-of-control workers’ compensation costs.

Illinois needs a lot less DCEO favoritism, and a lot more real economic reform.

This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post on May 1.

HIlary Gowins Yelvington
Managing Editor

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