Springfield, IL… State Representative David Leitch (R-Peoria) said teachers’ retirement benefits must be protected from the governor’s fund raids. Leitch and other House Republican members are sponsoring legislation to prohibit the governor from transferring dollars out of the Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program (TRIP) to be used for unintended purposes.
“The governor redirected $4.5 million from the TRIP fund in 2004 to balance a Democrat budget bloated with unaffordable new programs and pork projects,” said Leitch. “Our teachers depend on these funds to provide them with healthcare benefits when they retire. We cannot allow another raid on the TRIP fund in the future.”
Leitch passed legislation in 2005 which protected the TRIP fund by removing the governor’s authority to transfer money out of the fund. The prohibition expired June 30, 2007.
The governor is again seeking legislative authority to redirect special funds to pay for program expansions. Leitch is co-sponsoring House Bill 6333 which safeguards the TRIP fund from being swept to pay for expanded programs.
Resources for the fund are generated from contributions by active teachers, retired teachers, school districts, and the General Revenue Fund.
“Raiding the TRIP fund would be extremely unfair to the teachers that have dedicated their lives to educating our youth,” said Leitch. “They contribute their money into the fund, and they expect the dollars to be there for their healthcare. If the governor wants to expand existing programs and introduce new ones, then he should find another revenue source instead of balancing the budget on the backs of our teachers.”