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Illinois lawmaker loses temper on House floor after pension plan switch

 

An Illinois Republican lawmaker lost his cool in a big way Tuesday while discussing his state's pension overhaul on the House floor -- shouting and throwing papers in a rant that has since gone viral. 

GOP state Rep. Mike Bost flew into a rage after leaders of the Democrat-controlled General Assembly submitted an 11th-hour plan to overhaul the state’s pension fund that excludes Chicago residents from sharing in the financial burden.

“You should be ashamed of yourselves,” GOP state Rep. Mike Bost screamed as he stood on the House floor and flung copies of the bill. “Enough, when is it going to stop?”

The bill would instead shift the costs to suburban and down-state school districts, which could result in an increase of local property taxes in those more conservative regions.

The Democratic leaders and other supporters of the plan argue the proposed change is fair because the property taxes of Chicago residents pay the retirement fund for city public schools, and the state pays part of the fund for down-state teachers, according to the Herald & Review newspaper.

“I really don’t normally act that way,” a more subdued Bost told Fox News on Wednesday.

He said the flashpoint came when state House Speaker Michael J. Madigan submitted a new bill at 7:40 p.m. Tuesday, as lawmakers tried to bring the 2012 Assembly session to a close.

“They pulled the rug out from under us,” said Bost.

The pension fund, which covers such unionized workers like teachers, lawmakers and prison guards, is under-funded by roughly $83 billion. In addition, Illinois has a $1.8 billion deficit.

“You cannot continue to spend money you don’t have,” Bost added.