Rep. Batinick to Introduce Bill Allowing Chicago Speed Camera Revenue to Pay Police and Firefighter Pensions

PLAINFIELD – Today Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) announced that he would be filing legislation to allow for the use of speed camera enforcement revenue to pay down the woefully underfunded public safety pension liability in Chicago.

“Chicago’s public safety pensions need additional resources so that the people who put their lives on the line every day know that their pensions will be there when they retire,” said Rep. Batinick. “This bill will allow the City Council to use speed camera revenue to benefit public safety efforts in Chicago, where it is desperately needed.”

Currently, the Firemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago is only 21% funded, and the Policeman’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago is 25% funded. The funds have less than a quarter of the assets needed to pay for benefits promised to public safety employees.

“Speed cameras are a function of public safety; it just makes sense that the revenue they generate goes back into keeping our streets safe,” added Rep. Batinick. “We see an inability to hire public safety employees in Chicago, which is a direct result of the lack of resources provided to make the job desirable. This bill is a new tool I hope the City Council and Mayor use in their budgeting process because when it comes to public safety pensions, a bigger investment keeps everyone safer.” 

In Chicago, over 660 officers retired in 2021; this creates workforce issues and stresses the already underfunded pension fund. According to an Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police survey, resignations and retirements of officers increased by 29% in 2021 from 2020. Illinois police chiefs ranked “recruitment and retention” as their number one challenge, saying Illinois is at “a crisis point” when it comes to retaining and recruiting officers.