Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Breaking a contract is just a “game” for Illinois Senate President John Cullerton: "It would be nice if we didn't have to play this game, but we have to”

"We don't have to get locked into this conference committee," Cullerton said. "We can just say, 'Hey, we got a nice compromise here, $138 billion, put it on another bill.' We don't need these people to sign this bill."

"I understand the importance of passing a bill now because of the bond markets, the rating agencies. It would help people in the primaries to say they did something," Cullerton said.

"Every time they (GOP) want to save more money ... it makes it more difficult for me to get the votes for it," Cullerton said (Cullerton: Pension issue could bypass committee).

Is it just a "game" for other members of the Illinois General Assembly? Under whose legislative watch did the Illinois pension debt grow before the turn of the century?

MICHAEL MADIGAN (since 1971), JOHN CULLERTON (since 1979), Barbara Flynn Currie (since 1979), David Harris (since 1983-93 and since 2011), Mary Flowers (since 1985), David Leitch (since 1986), Lou Lang (since 1987), Monique Davis (since 1987), Donne Trotter (since 1988), Dan Burke (since 1991), Jay Hoffman (since 1991), Frank Mautino (since 1991), Tom Cross (since 1993), Donald Moffitt (since 1993), Dave Syverson (since 1993), Kirk Dillard (since 1993), James Clayborne (since 1995), Sara Feigenholtz (since 1995), Mike Bost (since 1995), Raymond Poe (since 1995), Jim Durkin (since 1995-03 and since 2006), Michael McAuliffe (since 1996), Kimberly Lightford (since 1996), Terry Link (since 1997), Christine Radogno (since 1997), Bill Mitchell (since 1997), Edward Acevedo (since 1997), Patricia Bellock (since 1997), Renee Kosel (since 1997), Dale Righter (since 1998), Ira Silverstein (since 1999), William Delgado (since 1999), Antonio Munoz (since 1999), Jack Franks (since 1999), Tim Schmitz (since 1999) and Keith Sommer (since 1999).

For Illinois governors since 1949, read A View of the Illinois Public Pension Dilemma, Pt. 1

We realize by now policymakers often pass laws for their own advantage, and we know that despite their pledges and duty to keep promises and to uphold both State and U.S. Constitutions, the politicians’ criteria for justice include their consideration for what is most expedient for them—their re-election and, for many of them, their corporate connections for lucrative jobs when they exit the General Assembly.

Creating and passing any bill that diminishes constitutionally-guaranteed benefits that were acquired as “vested” rights and guaranteed by Illinois statute is illegal and immoral, especially considering decades of legislators’ egregious and intentional negligence. To respect contractual promises as legitimate rights and moral concerns is at stake for EVERY citizen in Illinois. Cheating ANY citizen’s guaranteed rights and benefits violates moral, ethical and legal principles explicitly avowed in the State and U.S. Constitutions.

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