Saturday, August 24, 2013

The latest on so-called “pension reform” or breaking a contract in Illinois

No consensus from the conference committee yet, but in a new draft or outline from Nekritz, Biss, Brady, et al:

·         Retirees’ COLA increases would be ½ of rate of inflation with a base and cap for rate

·         Current employees would contribute 1% less to pension fund

·         No increase in retirement age

·         Pension benefits could be based on salary over career instead of averaging last four years

·         State of Illinois would contribute “extra money” into retirement funds beginning in 2019

·         State of Illinois could save $145 billion over 30 years

·         The retirement systems would be fully funded in 30 years

·         Committee is looking at more options as well

·         We Are One Coalition of Illinois “will file lawsuit to stop any proposal they believe violates the constitution”

·         Meanwhile, Madigan and Cullerton are still suing Quinn’s line-item veto that delays legislators’ monthly salary; they are calling Quinn’s line-item veto “Unconstitutional”

·         A Cook County Circuit Court judge has yet to rule on this suit

“There can be no doubt that behind all the [attempts at breaking a public employee's contract in the Illinois legislature]…, there is [some sort of unethical and ineffectual] organization at work. An organization which not only [perpetuates] corrupt [dealings by politicians]…, of whom the best that can be said is that they recognize their own limitations [and lack of business ethics], but [this organization] also has at [its] disposal [bureaucratic alternatives in addition to suborning corporatists and lobbyists]... And the significance of this… [unethical and ineffectual] organization…? It consists in this, that innocent persons [can be victimized by] senseless [reforms that] are put in motion against them… How is it possible… to prevent gross corruption…? It [seems] impossible [in the State of Illinois]…” (Franz Kafka, The Trial).

Please click on this link for an analysis: Illinois pension reform is without legal and moral justification



  1. COLA that is half the rate of inflation? Why Don't they say the goal is to make sure all retirees should be impoverished? Average all the years to determine base pension and then have a COLA that is less than the rate of inflation will guarantee future retirees will be in even a worse place. Put in extra money? When have legislators ever used extra money for something other than their pet projects? They found a way not to pay the State's share into the pension funds which is what caused this financial mess.

  2. Turning and turning in widening gyre
    The Assembly cannot hear the falconer.
    Or even tell who the falconer is. And neither can I. Is it the People? The public employees? The Club? The corporations?
    My Tea Party Representative votes "Yea" for every plan put forward that will cut my pension, saying it is necessary in order to make sure I'll still get a check in years to come - without bothering to explain how this could ever happen since there is no provision in the US Constitution for a state to declare bankruptcy and be relieved of its obligations. Elaine and her kind also lean upon this flimsy and baseless excuse in following the orders of their corporate handlers. Justifications for legislative action no longer need to be based in fact, it seems. For example, can anyone explain to me how I, who am retired, will be benefited by a 1% reduction in the contribution rate (that I no longer pay)? You can't, but then you don't need to. It will still be used to show that I am "getting" something in exchange for the 3% that I will lose in my annual pension payment, and so "prove" that the reduction in my contractually earned and paid for benefit is a Constitutional one. Let's drop the pretense and cut to the chase. Isn't all this being done to save the rear-ends of the politicians who enabled all those pension holidays, who used the funds to benefit themselves and their handlers, who are afraid of answering questions about where the money went, and WHO ARE STILL THERE, IN POWER, RUNNING THE GA????