New Illinois Law Blocks CTA, Metra and Pace Employees from Receiving a Public Pension After Conviction of a Job-Related Felony

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–August 19, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today continued his push to increase accountability in Illinois government by signing legislation to prohibit employees of Chicago-area transit agencies from receiving a pension if they are convicted of felony related to their work. This new law brings these transit agencies into line with other municipal governments and the state of Illinois, which already ban this practice.

“This important measure will ensure that transit employees who violate the public trust do not continue to receive benefits funded by Illinois taxpayers,” Governor Quinn said. “This overdue law will hold CTA, Metra and Pace employees to the same standards as other public servants throughout Illinois.”

House Bill 3591, sponsored by Rep. Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg) and Sen. John Mulroe (D-Chicago), prohibits all new hires to the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace from collecting pension benefits after being convicted of a felony committed related to their duties.

“As a public employee, one has a fiduciary obligation to protect the public’s interest,” said Sen. Mulroe. “If you breach that duty by committing a felony related to your public service, there should be harsh consequences.”

Under current law, all state retirement systems governed by the Illinois Pension Code have this protection except these Chicago-area transit agencies. House Bill 3591 will ensure a uniform standard across the state that prevents benefits from being paid to employees convicted of felonies arising from or relating to their jobs.

The new law passed the General Assembly nearly unanimously and takes effect immediately.