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*** UPDATED x1 *** *** LIVE *** House committee takes up Madigan’s proposal to cap union contract wages

Thursday, Nov 15, 2012

*** UPDATE *** The committee has recessed to the call of the chair without taking a vote. They’ll return Monday, November 26.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* We’re coming a little late to this, but the House Revenue Committee is holding a hearing this morning on HJR 45

Declares that the State shall appropriate for no more than an X% increase for wage increases associated with any and all collectively bargained contracts throughout State government. States the policy of the State of Illinois that the size of, or a reduction in, the State employee workforce shall not be a topic of collective bargaining.

The measure is sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan.

* Archived video is here.

* And here’s a ScribbleLive thingy

- Posted by Rich Miller        


16 Comments
  1. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 11:39 am:

    Remember, the public sector unions leadership endorsed the pols who raided the pension funds.

    And the members of these unions re-elected the officers who endorsed the politicians.

    The proximate cause of Illinois’ problem is that the Illinois General Assembly passed budgets that didn’t make the full pension payments.

    Does this fix address this problem?


  2. - Jechislo - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 11:44 am:

    Nope, it doesn’t fix the pension problem. And, once again, the Civic Club of Chicago advocates that the General Assembly ignore the Illinois Constitution and reduce pension benefits for current retirees.

    Lawsuits will abound while the General Assembly wrings their hands because that “pesky ‘ol Constitution” keeps getting in their way and that they don’t have any ‘real’ ideas or solutions.

    Looks like there really was a hidden agenda in the failed Constitutional Amendment. The public got that one right and voted it down.


  3. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 11:45 am:

    BTW, is there any discussion of taxing option contracts?

    That’s $6 billion per year that could be used to fix the State of Illinois’ pension shortfall.

    If Illinois is serious about fixing the problem, it’s time to go where the money is.


  4. - Fan of the Game - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 11:47 am:

    If you allow public sector unions and pander to them over the years and set into the state constitution that pensions are sacrosanct, then you have to bite that bullet and pay the bill. The GA has not done so for years and now wants to blame everyone but the GAs that allowed it to happen.


  5. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 11:48 am:

    ===BTW, is there any discussion of taxing option contracts?===

    No.

    They just gave the exchanges a big tax break to stay here. I highly doubt that they’ll turn around and tax contracts.


  6. - Jechislo - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 11:53 am:

    ===If you allow public sector unions and pander to them over the years and set into the state constitution that pensions are sacrosanct===

    If I remember correctly, Mike Madigan was one of those who worked on these changes to the Constitution at the 1970 CON CON.


  7. - Fan of the Game - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 11:55 am:

    ==If I remember correctly, Mike Madigan was one of those who worked on these changes to the Constitution at the 1970 CON CON==

    Wouldn’t surprise me a bit.


  8. - Anon - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 12:14 pm:

    I thought the bill had been amended to now include language prohibiting any raises for union employees until there are two consecutive years of budget surpluses.


  9. - cassandra - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 12:23 pm:

    Nevertheless, see Illinois Watchdog 11:26 am, revenues are increasing as the economy improves. It will continue to improve. How are we going to use that new money. Taxpayers should get some of it, at least in the sense that we don’t get taxed more. And would designating the net increase in revenues to the pension system for the foreseeable future provide a good-enough fix so that current retirees could be left alone, or minimally affected. Better than raising taxes, soaking the retirees, then finding, surprise, we have lots of extra money. Wonder what that’ll be spent on.

    In other words, I guess, it’s still who’s gonna pay? As middle class taxpayer sans the clout of AFSCME or CME and with no powerful Democrats in the family, I must say, I’m not optimistic.


  10. - Newsclown - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 12:39 pm:

    I don’t get why Madigan would antagonize the union like this. I mean, I get it that he CAN, but is this just some posturing for a bill that’s never going to make it to law… or is he really trying to bust the contact bargaining process, with all the follow-on chaos that implies.


  11. - cassandra - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 12:53 pm:

    There are negotiations going on now, with AFSCME, albeit momentarily stuck. They are important because the outcome could be some degree of costly for taxpayers over time. Maybe this bill is part of the overall negotiation process. Democrats may have a supermajority but they may not want to march into the future in total lockstep with public employee unions. There will be more elections.

    Anyway, kudos to whoever is holding tough in those AFSCME negotiations. Yet know that our flip-flopping governor could pull out the rug at any time, especially if he feels to do so would improve his political prospects.


  12. - Rusty618 - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 12:59 pm:

    Yep, there was definitely a hidden agenda in the failed amendment. I saw it from the start.
    And Madigan is trying to get this through when AFSCME negotiations are going on? Well, I guess they are at a stand still. He better be careful or he will have a statewide strike on his hands!


  13. - western illinois - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 1:12 pm:

    There will be future elections that will determine who gets what and we call these primaries because the GOP looks like it is giving up. Jim Watson is quitting to go fracking and the Jacksonville mayor turned the job down
    The pay isnt bad and all you have to do is vote no
    Based on the last election I agree with Newsclown. The unions did very well and so did Derrick Smith(MJM opposed him)


  14. - walkinfool - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 3:10 pm:

    HJR’s are communications devices, to the Gov, and to the legislators on what to expect when the actual appropriations bills are brought forward. If the GA intends to continue to limit how much the Gov can deliver on raises, and he continues to comply, then advanced warning is worthwhile.


  15. - DuPage Dave - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 6:23 pm:

    I don’t think this legislation would withstand a court challenge. How can you put in legislation a limit on what can be agreed to in collective bargaining? If the result is fixed, there is no bargaining, only one side setting the terms.


  16. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 7:34 pm:

    Dave, I hate to ruin your world, but collective bargaining could be completely abolished for public employees, as it is in some other states, and as it was in Illinois until Dan Walker (Exec Order), followed by legislation under JRT.


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