Sunday, January 6, 2013

Illinois Pension Reform (Updated January 6)

“…There were no smiles on the faces of anyone emerging from Saturday’s closed-door summit of Gov. Pat Quinn and legislative leaders on how to solve the state’s pension funding woes. That was the bad news for those hoping for an agreement. The good news was that House Speaker Michael Madigan told reporters afterward that he wants a pension bill passed by the time the Legislature finishes its lame-duck session Tuesday night. Past performance tells us that when Madigan is of a mind to pass a piece of legislation, he will pass that piece of legislation…

“Gov. Pat Quinn and Illinois’ legislative leaders met Saturday but couldn’t reach a deal to resolve the state’s pension mess. ‘Unfortunately, there are still differences among the participants, and my recommendation is we move beyond the differences and just find a bill that we can pass so there will be some action taken on the question of funding for these pension systems,’ House Speaker Michael Madigan said…

“Cullerton’s position is that a change in public pensions must be accompanied by a choice for employees, such as opting between keeping the cost-of-living increase and giving up health care, or taking a smaller annual increase but keeping health benefits. Cullerton staunchly believes that his approach is the only way to work around the state Constitution’s guarantee that a person’s pension cannot be diminished once it is set. But not everyone agrees with his approach…

“It is likely that the shift of future pensions’ costs to local government will be separated and negotiated later, in the spring” (from Will Madigan Make It Happen?).

House speaker Mike Madigan says some of the sticking points are a cost of living adjustment, whether there should be a cap on pensionable salary, and if there should be a delay on a retirement date to help fund the state’s pension system (Quinn Meets With Legislative Leaders Over Pension Reform, But No Deal).


1 comment:

  1. We would be well served to remember the words of Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892-1984).