Fiscal Responsibility

Stop Allowing General Assembly Members to Draw Pensions When They Turn 55 After Only 8 Years of Service And From Drawing Pensions When They Turn 62 After Only 4 Years of Service

Ideally pensions for part-time General Assembly Members should be eliminated in their entirety. However, increasing the age at which General Assembly Members draw their pensions to 65 and after a minimum of 12 years of service will save Illinois millions of dollars. Illinois would have to pay qualifying retirees later in life and fewer would qualify due to the difficulty of being elected for 12 years compared to just 4.

The current General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) is broke. There are more retirees drawing pensions than workers in the system. To offset these hefty pensions, taxpayers have been fitting the bill. It is estimated that from 2014 to 2045, legislator contributions to their own retirement system will be around $100 million, while taxpayers will have to contribute over $850 million. This is an absurd abuse of legislative power and Bubba Harsy will work hard fixing this abuse. The taxpayers of Illinois cannot afford to have their elected officials wait around any longer for this problem to fix itself. They need and deserve action.

Fight to Bring an End to Taxpayer Funded Defined Benefit Programs

Currently the Illinois Pension crisis is the biggest elephant in the room. Pensions for government employees are underfunded and backed by taxpayer dollars. This is an unfair, immoral, and unconstitutional burden on the people of Illinois.

Politicians play games with the pensions of government employees. They vote to skip payments and grant pay raises at the request of government unions that they know cannot be sustained long term. These pay increases increase the tension on an already strained pension budget. Bubba will fight for real pension reform that is fair to the people of Illinois and no longer has taxpayers on the hook for shady government deals.

Stop Issuing Front License Plates For Vehicles

Illinois would be the 20th state to move away from front license plates due to the costs. If Illinois joined the ranks of single license plate states, it would save taxpayers over $1 million each year.

Illinois law enforcement officials say that allowing single license plates will hinder their law enforcement capabilities. They will not be able to scan license plates as easily or pull someone over for driving without a front license plate to investigate other crimes. Law enforcement departments of the previous 19 states all made the same complaints, none of the other states law enforcement capabilities have been hindered, and none of the previous law enforcement officials are fighting to have their state’s single license plate law overturned.

Legalize Fireworks

Millions of Illinoisans go to neighboring states each year and spend millions of dollars on fireworks. Illinois loses millions of dollars each year in tax revenue by not selling fireworks. Illinois also misses out on the jobs required to sell fireworks and the money spent going out of state to make these purchases.

Why continue to lose out on millions of dollars by making something illegal that police officers do not enforce. It is terrible management on behalf of current Illinois legislators and Bubba Harsy aims to change that.

Require Healthy Adults Without Children to Work or Volunteer a Minimum of 20 Hours a Week in Order to Receive Food Stamps

There is not a legitimate reason for a healthy, able bodied individual to not find a volunteer position at a government agency or nonprofit organization. It is understandable a person may not be able to find 20 hours of work each week, but they can find an appropriate organization to volunteer 20 hours a week for.

With continued volunteer service, individuals become more employable, making it easier for them to find paid employment, and taking steps to no longer need government assistance.

Cap Illinois Salaries Funded by Taxpayers at $222,000 and Require Legislative Approval for Taxpayer Funded Salaries Exceeding $125,000

The governor of Illinois, as head of state, makes $177,411. Over 650 state employees made more than that in 2014. While ignoring the salaries of state employees at universities, the highest paid state employee in 2014 received $446,875 and the 20 highest paid state employees exceeded salaries of $250,000.

There has been a recent trend in paying local level government officials large salaries. For example, in the 2013-2014 school year, the highest paid school superintendent in Illinois made $336,350 with the top 3 making over $300,000 for that year. To make the top 25 list of highest paid school superintendents, you have to make over $247,500 each year, and this list does not overlap with the 20 highest paid state employees, so that is a list of 45 state employees making over  $247,500 at the expense of the Illinois taxpayer. By capping salaries funded by Illinois taxpayers to 125% of the governor’s salary and requiring legislative approval for salaries exceeding $125,000, these skyrocketing salaries can be stopped.