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Bertino-Tarrant continues fight to strip Hastert of his pension

jbt041415SPRINGFIELD— The fight to strip former U.S. House Speaker Dennis J. Hastert of his taxpayer funded pensions was continued today by State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

“Legislation was filed to strip Hastert of his General Assembly Retirement System pension,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “The taxpayers shouldn’t be paying retirement benefits for a child predator who has abused the public trust.”

Hastert was recently sentenced to 15 months in prison for bank fraud stemming from efforts to cover up child sex abuse dating back to his time as a teacher in Yorkville. He had qualified for pension benefits for his tenure as a teacher, state lawmaker and congressman.

Illinois’ Teachers Retirement System has canceled Hastert’s pension.

However, the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) has failed to get rid of Hastert’s state lawmaker pension. The agency has suggested reducing it from $28,000 to $9,000, but Bertino-Tarrant says that’s not enough.

“I am going to continue to pursue the removal of Hastert’s GARS pension- any amount is too much,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “He confessed to molesting children. His pensions need to be eliminated. Period.”

Under legislation Bertino-Tarrant has introduced, Senate Bill 442, a member could lose their pension at any time if they commit a felony against a student or other victim.

This plan would allow Hastert’s pension to be revoked.

Last month, Bertino-Tarrant sent a letter to GARS requesting that Hastert’s pension be immediately revoked. The senator also sent a letter to Attorney General Lisa Madigan requesting that she provide a legal argument to the board in support of Hastert no longer receiving a pension.

Sen. Bertino-Tarrant

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49th Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Education (Chairperson); Insurance; Labor; Licensed Activities (Vice-Chairperson); Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital (TR); Subcommittee on Special Issues (ED) (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: Lifelong educator; former Will County superintendent and secretary of Will County Regional Board of School Trustees; B.A., Illinois State University; MS, University of St. Francis; EdD., Loyola.

Associated Representatives:
Mark Batinick
Natalie A. Manley