04122019CM0607RSPRINGFIELD – County board members and elected local governmental officials would no longer have the ability to take a salary and draw from their pension while still in office under a reform measure passed this week by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek).

“No elected official should be both serving in office while also drawing a retirement check for the work done in that capacity,” Link said. “It is a clear violation of the public trust and an integrity issue, as county board members have the ability to pass measures that could increase the retirement benefits of that board.”

Link’s proposal – contained in Senate Bill 1236 – closes a loophole that came to light after several Lake County board members took advantage of the law to draw their Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) pension while still serving on the county board.

Senate Bill 1236 would require any county board member or elected local governmental official to forfeit their salary at the beginning of their next term if they are receiving pension benefits for service as a county board member or elected officer.

Link’s legislation builds off of a recent reform measure that eliminated pension benefits for county board members unless the county board opts in and members submit time sheets documenting they worked at least 600 hours a year. That law – supported by Link – passed the General Assembly and was signed into law in 2016.

“Not one member of the General Assembly would be okay with allowing Senators to collect a pension while still serving their constituents,” Link said. “This should not be acceptable at any level of government.”

Senate Bill 1236 passed the Senate on Wednesday afternoon on a 45-6 vote. Rep. Dan Didech (D-Buffalo Grove) is sponsoring the measure in the Illinois House.

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