Employees of 13 non-government groups are currently eligible for publicly-funded pensions in Illinois, including lobbying groups like the Illinois Association of Park Districts and the Illinois Principal’s Association. Workers for such organizations may be paid by member dues, but they are entitled to the state’s public pension system.

Representative Elaine Nektriz says the loophole was created when a court ruled in 1982 that people in certain organizations affiliated with government groups, such as a university, a school system or a park district, were all eligible for state pensions.

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“It’s not fair to the taxpayers that private employees would be able to benefit from a taxpayer-backed system,” said Emily Miller, policy and government affairs coordinator for the BGA.

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