Many years ago the teachers pension plan was established in Illinois. The legislature at that time agreed to contribute matching funds.
Later the Illinois Lottery was offered as one way of supporting education in the state which included the contribution to the teachers pension. In reality, little of the lottery money increased the state's contribution. It may have been put in the educational fund, but an equal amount (maybe more) was removed from the state's normal contribution. Illinois got its lottery, but education didn't benefit.
Today the legislature and the governor are trying to cut expenses and are looking at cutting their contribution to the pension funds, teachers included.
I am not sure what we as teachers and retired teachers can do about it, but I do know that electing members of the legislature who belong to the same party that got us in the mess is not the answer.
Before the last election our union, Illinois Federation of Teachers, put out its recommendation for the legislature. A very high percentage were of the same party that got us to where we are today.
The current elected representatives have failed us (and all the people of the state) so it may be time to let the other party have a chance.