In the aftermath of the College of DuPage administrative scandal, State Sen. Michael Connelly (R-Wheaton) is working closely with fellow State Sen. Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) to find a bipartisan solution to the abuses found in Illinois community colleges.
In a 2015 subcommittee hearing, it was discovered that “perks” enjoyed by higher education administrators were being used to help calculate pensionable services credits toward retirement.
“It is absurd that a country club membership and a $20,000 annual car allowance can be used to base a pensioner’s final salary on,” Connelly said.
The 2015 subcommittee of higher education heard testimony from public-sector universities and community colleges that it was “standard” to include – on top of a $200,000+ base salary – a $20,000+ housing allowance and an additional $20,000+ vehicle allowance, plus exorbitant other fringe benefits such as country club memberships as part of an overall compensation package. It was also learned that the money associated with the car and housing allowances are considered earnings for calculating one’s pension.
Senator Connelly is the chief cosponsor of Senate Bills 2155, 2156, 2157, 2158 and 2159, which have passed the Senate with near unanimous support. The bills are now headed to the House of Representatives for further action.