Bernas vows to refuse House pension, ties 'lucrative system' to lack of reform
Jillian Bernas, an Illinois House of Representatives candidate in District 56, announced on social media that she would not accept a taxpayer-funded pension if elected.
“The lucrative pension system has bred career politicians along with a culture of abuse and harassment and some of the highest property taxes in the nation,” Bernas wrote on Facebook Oct. 15. “That is why I pledge to not take a legislative pension.”
She was responding to a Chicago Tribune opinion piece by Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner titled “Yes, Illinois can eliminate legislative pensions.” The crux of their argument was that as long as lawmakers draw pensions, there is no incentive to reform the system.
The authors highlighted the multi-million dollar pensions some 20-year legislators are in line to receive, such as state Sen. Jeffrey Schoenberg (D-Evanston), state Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) and former Republican state Sen. Kirk Dillard.
Bernas will face incumbent Democrat Michelle Mussman on Nov. 6.
“We will not be able to lower our property taxes with politicians like Mussman taking advantage of the system and punishing homeowners,” Bernas said.
Bernas has also received an endorsement from the Daily Herald newspaper, which she thanked Oct. 12 on Facebook for the support. The newspaper stated that Bernas represents much-needed change.
“We think Bernas will bring a fresh viewpoint and independence that will better serve the district and help bring much-needed change to Springfield,” the Herald said.
State House District 56 covers the city of Rolling Meadows and Bloomingdale, Elk Grove, Palatine, Schaumburg and Wayne townships.