To the Illinois Education Association-Retired (December 16, 2014)
It is our hope that members of the upcoming delegation do not readily condemn differences of opinion from those who question and challenge the IEA leadership, for there will be more significant issues confronting all of us. No more labeling disagreements as blatant “disloyalties,” no more vitriolic ad hominem attacks, and no more nonsensical “Lesser of Two Evils” arguments for choosing future candidates… (For the entire article, Click Here).
Pension Lawsuit Updates (October 8 - December 10, 2014)
“Pension Reform Litigation Order: This cause coming to be heard on the motion of appellants, Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois, et al., an objection having been filed by appellees, and the Court being fully advised in the premises; IT IS ORDERED that the motion for accelerated docket is allowed. Appellants' brief and supporting record are due January 12, 2015. Appellees' brief is due February 16, 2015. Appellants' reply brief is due February 27, 2015. Oral argument will be scheduled for the March 2015 term of court. Order entered by the Court. Filed December 10, 2014…” (For the entire article, Click Here).
Should we worry about the unions’ “commitment… to develop a fair and constitutional solution to fund the state’s retirement systems” after the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling? (November 25, 2014)
…Though “rights may be modified via legitimate contract principles” (or by what is commonly called consideration), we hope the leadership of the We Are One Coalition intrepidly believes from now on that “a fair and constitutional solution” should never be an exchange for reductions of originally-vested benefits assured by the Illinois Constitution!.. (For the entire article, Click Here).
The Honorable John Belz handed down his ruling today from the 7th Judicial Circuit Court stating that pension rights are constitutionally protected for retirees in Illinois (November 21, 2014)
“The Honorable John Belz handed down his ruling today from the 7th Judicial Circuit Court stating that pension rights are constitutionally protected for retirees in Illinois. ‘I am encouraged by the ruling made today by Judge Belz,’ said Bob Pinkerton, President of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association. ‘I remain hopeful that this decision, and the previous verdict made by the Supreme Court on Kanerva, will once and for all determine that Senate Bill 1 is unconstitutional and reiterate that the pension protection clause means pension benefits for current workers and retirees cannot be changed…’” (For the entire article, Click Here).
Colorado Supreme Court Rules Against Public Employees and Retirees (October 20, 2014)
"Earlier this morning the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in the case Gary R. Justus v. PERA and the State of Colorado, filed in February 2010 soon after Governor Bill Ritter signed Senate Bill 10-001 into law. You may view the court’s 32 page decision…” (For the entire article, Click Here).
Pension Plan Platitudes: Big Question Marks over Quinn, Rauner Plans from Chicago Tonight WTTW (September 11, 2014)
“Pension reform is one of the biggest issues facing the state. Gov. Pat Quinn has passed pension reform legislation, which could be ruled unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court. If that were to happen, Quinn has yet to detail what he would do. As for GOP challenger Bruce Rauner, he proposes shifting workers to a 401k-style, defined contribution system while maintaining all benefits accrued to date. Rauner hasn’t detailed how his pension reform plan would be paid for…” (For the entire article, Click Here).
Another Examination of the Illinois “Pension Clause,” or What Part of These Words Do They Not Understand? (July 13, 2014)
We have witnessed recently a barrage of dishonest editorials that have omitted significant contextual information about the “Pension Clause,” commentaries that have used misleading analogies and other deliberate misinformation to foment envy and anger for public employees who have earned constitutionally-guaranteed pension benefit rights… (For the entire article, Click Here).
The Contract Clause and the State of Illinois’ “reserved sovereign powers” in Senate Bill 1 (June 12, 2014)
Illinois legislators are not dealing with a threat to the “public’s safety, health, and morals as well as peace, well-being and order of the state”; nor are they dealing with an economic emergency of such magnitude that they are compelled to invoke powers to protect the state's citizens and, thus, serve a reasonable public purpose or need... (For the entire article, Click Here).
Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s and Attorney Joshua Ratz’s “Answer and Defenses” for Breaking a Constitutional Contract with Public Employees and Retirees/ and Rebuttals (May 16, 2014)
“… [W]ithout significant pension reform, the unfunded liability and the State’s pension contribution will continue to grow, and further burden the fiscal stability of both the State and its retirement systems…” (For the entire article, Click Here).
Illinois Senate Bill 1: Current Lawsuits Opposed to Breaking a Constitutional Contract with Public Employees (April 14, 2014)
“…On March 3, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court consolidated the first four lawsuits for proceedings in Sangamon County Circuit Court. On April 8, 2014, the fifth lawsuit, filed by the State Universities Annuitants Association on March 6, 2014, was consolidated with the other four...” (For the entire article, Click Here).
ILLINOIS PUBLIC PENSION LAWSUIT Updates (March 26 – July 22, 2014)
“‘…The Supreme Court could hardly have been clearer in destroying the police powers argument in the Kanerva case,’ said attorney John Myers, who brought another of the pension reform lawsuits. ‘What the Supreme Court is saying is you have to fund this, now figure it out. That destroys the whole sovereign powers defense, which is, we don’t have to figure it out, and we can impair pensions…”’ (For the entire article, Click Here).
The Arizona Ruling and the Attempt to Break a Constitutional Contract in Illinois (February 21, 2014)
“The Arizona Supreme Court says the Legislature can't cut cost-of-living increases promised to state retirees. The ruling released Thursday [February 20] comes in a case brought after the Legislature cut the increases in 2011 for retirees in the state plan for judges and elected officials…” (For the entire article, Click Here).
I asked Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan a question yesterday (February 20, 2014)
I attended a presentation at Benedictine University yesterday. It was sponsored by the Center for Civic Leadership. Former Attorney General James Ryan (1995-2003) introduced guest speaker Attorney General Lisa Madigan… (For the entire article, Click Here).
Your [Diminished] Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) via Senate Bill 1 (from TRS) (January 19, 2014)
“For the last few weeks, TRS has been in the process of creating a calculator on its website that is designed to help Tier I members estimate their first cost-of-living adjustment after the new pension law takes effect on June 1, 2014…” (For the entire article, Click Here).
The Concept of “Consideration” in Illinois Senate Bill 1 (January 3, 2014)
…Contracts supported by consideration are often one-sided, advantageous arrangements. Any agreement with the Illinois General Assembly regarding “guaranteed” funding to the pension systems would not be a “valid” consideration for public employees because it would be in exchange for reductions of originally-vested benefits assured by the Illinois Constitution… (For the entire article, Click Here).