Kay fears pension fund crisis not limited to Harvey
Dwight Kay fears that what’s happening in Harvey isn’t the isolated incident some wish it to be.
“Right now, there are serious circumstances in Harvey, but people need to realize there are serious circumstances in places all over this state,” Kay told the Metro East Sun. “Look at East St. Louis, North Chicago. I’m afraid there are more negative consequences to be felt from the destructive and dysfunctional way this state has operated.”
In Harvey, city leaders were recently forced to lay off at least 30 police officers and firefighters as part of a widening pension system crisis. Several news outlets reported even more pink slips could be on the way in the wake of a court decision mandating that city officials now make good on pension payments they can longer afford and have not adequately funded for more than a decade.
In all, Wirepoints.com estimates that approximately two out of every three of the state’s 651 pension funds were underfunded as recently as 2016, with those delinquent municipalities now potentially risking having funds garnished.
“We passed a law where the state comptroller was to withhold funds when money is not paid into pension systems,” Kay, a Glen Carbon Republican running against Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville) in the 112th District, said. “The comptroller did what she was supposed to do and Harvey is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Kay said at least a measure of the answer lies in the decision of who voters decide to send to Springfield.
“We need to elect accountable people,” he said. “Politicians here in Illinois don’t seem to feel they should be accountable to anyone. Voters need to take notice of that, and as lawmakers we need to be trying to repair Illinois before there is no chance left for us to do so.”
The 112th House District includes parts or all of Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Collinsville and O'Fallon.