Illinois Policy’s Adam Schuster On Gov’s Budget, Mike Madigan
When we initially booked an interview with our friend Adam Schuster, Senior Director of Budget and Tax Research for Illinois Policy, our topic was going to be what Governor Pritzker's recent budget address meant for business owners and everyday Illinoisans.
However, in the time between setting up the interview and the interview taking place this morning on the WROK Morning Show, long-time House Speaker/Representative Michael Madigan announced his resignation from the Illinois House.
The facts surrounding Madigan deciding to step down are made even more intriguing when you consider the numerous investigations into Madigan and how he "conducted business" in Springfield. With those investigations continuing on, we'll have to wait and see if the Illinois court system will be part of Madigan's future.
What we do know is that Mike Madigan's future earnings are going to be pretty sweet, thanks to the pension system he helped create. Illinois Policy's Adam Schuster points out that Madigan will start receiving $7,100 in monthly pension benefits starting in March, but just more than a year later his benefits jump 78% to $12,600 per month.
Adam Schuster tell us that, all told, "Madigan is projected to collect more than $2.9 million in lifetime pension benefits, assuming he collects them for 17 years. He contributed just over $350,000 during his 50-year career, or 12% of his total expected payout. He’ll get that back within three years."
Not a bad deal, says Adam Schuster, especially if "you consider that Madigan will receive immense personal benefits from the broken pension system he was instrumental in creating. The former speaker’s fingerprints can be found on nearly every bill for the past 30 years that enhanced pension benefits, borrowed money to cover their costs, or shorted contributions to the systems. The system he will draw from, the General Assembly Retirement System, is the worst-funded of the state’s five public pension systems with just 17% of what it is expected to pay out."
Listen in as Illinois Policy's Adam Schuster also explains why the governor's budget wishes and demands should be an absolute no-go for Illinois citizens: