Tom Cullerton moves to make pension system information public

Sen. Tom CullertonSPRINGFIELD – Units of local government may soon be required to disclose municipal pension deals.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed House Bill 303, which would require local government bodies to disclose more information about how certain lump-sum payouts at the end of an employee’s career are used to increase that person’s retirement benefits.

“This open and transparent process will help put a stop to pension boosts that end up costing Illinois taxpayers thousands of dollars,” Cullerton said. “Expanding the disclosure laws to require sick days to be included in the process will help ensure there isn’t any misconduct.”

In 2016, the General Assembly passed the Local Government Wage Increase Transparency Act, which requires disclosure of certain large lump-sum payments such as severance packages and unused vacation.

These payments can have the effect of enhancing an employee’s final average salary, which is used to calculate benefits.

However, payouts for unused sick time are not included under current law. An investigative report released by CBS 2 Chicago revealed a Calumet City School Superintendent improperly claimed he never had taken any sick days in 13 years of employment. The superintendent claimed to have accumulated 532 sick days and 350 vacation days, which equaled $1.7 million. The official was later fired.

“It is plain and simple, Illinois taxpayers should know when and where their money is going,” Cullerton said. “This measure will help remind officials that people are watching. I will not allow taxpayer dollars to be misused and abused.”

House Bill 303 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support and now heads to the governor’s desk for his approval.

Sen. Tom Cullerton


23rd Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Insurance; Labor; State Government; Transportation; Veterans Affairs (Chairperson); Sub. on Utility Rate Regulations (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: Born Sept. 20, 1969; studied at the University of Kansas; former village president and trustee of Villa Park; married (wife Stacey), three sons.

Associated Representatives:
Deb Conroy
Diane Pappas