Friday, February 6, 2015

The 10 Amici Requests in Support of State’s Pension Appeal that the Illinois Supreme Court Denied

For Your Reading Pleasure:

The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago

The Civic Federation

The Illinois Policy Institute

The City of Chicago

Constitutional Law Professors

Illinois Law Professors
The Illinois Municipal League

The International Municipal Lawyers Association

The Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Transit Authority and Chicago Park District

Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living, Transitions Mental Health Services, Mental Health Centers of Illinois, Youth Network Council, Marcfirst and Omni Youth Services

On January 22, 2015, the Illinois Supreme Court denied all ten motions for leave to file.

From John Dillon’s Blog:

"The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago – The well-heeled collection of corporate heads and power brokers led by Tyrone Fahner, close advisor and friend to past-Governor James Thompson, himself one of the more egregious pension thieves during his tenure.  The brief argued that the dire fiscal situation facing the state, even after making changes in a second tier of public workers, demonstrates that 'any fiscal future' is reliant on an overturning of the Circuit Court decision. 

"The Civic Federation -  A politically influential player in local and state politics, headed by Lawrence Msall – a frequent guest on WTTW Chicago Tonight where he battles against Ralph Martire of the CTBA and all things public worker.  Msall and his predecessor Eden Martin were active and influential during the development of the current Pension Ramp that annually undermines the state budget.

"The Illinois Policy Institute - This brief from the often vocal tea-party group on WTTW Chicago Tonight argued that without necessary changes provided by SB 1, the pension systems themselves would be jeopardized; thus, change must be forced despite earlier Circuit Court declarations that the law was unconstitutional.  

"The City of Chicago – As in the arguments by the CPS et. al., the brief presented the looming crisis facing the city in its pension obligations and its poor investor’s rating as well as the ongoing structural revenue problem.

"Constitutional Law Professors - A collection of five legal counselors, writers and professors working collaboratively to refute the absolute nature of a constitutional guarantee.  

"Illinois Law Professors -  Professors Katharine Baker, Chicago-Kent College of Law School; Wendy Epstein, DePaul University College of Law; Adrian Walters, Chicago-Kent College of Law – three members of the legal community specializing in commercial law, corporate law and contracts.  They argued against any absolute interpretation of the Pension Clause.

"The Illinois Municipal League.  A group representing over one thousand local municipalities and a member of the advocate group the Pension Fairness Coalition, urged a reduction in state retirement programs in order to assure continued funding of local public safety workers retirement.   You might remember when the Illinois Policy Institute suggested that North Riverside’s fire department privatize as a result of 'forgetting' to make payments into the pension funds for decades.  Many other municipalities face such shortfalls for a variety of reasons.  

"The International Municipal Layers Association - a non-profit, national think-tank offering legal advice to client municipalities.  You might remember in 2007, this group lobbied against the Federal Public Safety Act, which allowed an employee to join a union. 

"Chicago Public Schools… - Several briefs filed by lawyers representing the Chicago Public School System, Chicago Transit Authority, and the Chicago Park District – all apply the future crises they face in pension shortages as a necessary concern and motive to support Lisa Madigan’s police power argument.

"Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living... – Argues that if the earlier Appellate Court decision is upheld, it will severely reduce the opportunity or amount of funding targeted to health services for the least able of our citizens."

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