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“Base closing” style commission proposed to deal with pension laws

Tuesday, Jan 8, 2013

* A new amendment to the pension reform bill was just filed. It creates a commission that could essentially make statutory pension changes as long as the General Assembly does not disapprove

The Commission shall determine the changes to law necessary to ensure that the State Employee Retirement System, the General Assembly Retirement System, the State University Retirement System, and the Teacher’s Retirement System will reach 100% actuarial funding for all then-existing liabilities not later than December 31, 2045, calculated and defined in full accordance with the applicable standards and guidelines of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. […]

General Assembly Disapproval of the Report. The General Assembly may disapprove the report of the Commission in whole within thirty legislative days after the report is filed by adoption of a joint resolution by a record vote of the majority of the members elected in each house. If the General Assembly does not adopt a joint resolution disapproving of the report, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate shall certify the bill and it shall be presented to the Governor in accordance with Article 4, Section 9(a) of the Illinois Constitution. The Governor shall sign the bill and it shall become law. The bill shall not be certified if the General Assembly adopts a joint resolution disapproving of the report.

This looks like the federal base-closing commission.

Thoughts?

…Adding… From the Illinois Constitution

The General Assembly shall enact laws only by bill. Bills may originate in either house, but may be amended or rejected by the other.

No bill shall become a law without the concurrence of a majority of the members elected to each house. Final passage of a bill shall be by record vote. In the Senate at the request of two members, and in the House at the request of five members, a record vote may be taken on any other occasion. A record vote is a vote by yeas and nays entered on the journal.

Make sure to watch for updates on our live coverage post.

…Adding More… This looks a bit like the old and now defunct pay raise commission. Back then, legislators in both chambers had to vote to reject the commission’s pay raise recommendations or they’d take effect.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


167 Comments
  1. - Lobo Y Olla - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 1:55 pm:

    Pass the buck. Lovely. L


  2. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 1:57 pm:

    What a gutless pack of losers


  3. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 1:57 pm:

    Oh I don’t know, how about the legislature actually legislate and the governor actually govern.


  4. - Just the Facts - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 1:57 pm:

    It seems to me that it is unconstitutional. The procedure does not comply with Article IV Sections 8(c) and (d) of the Illinois constitution - 8(c) provides in relevant part “No bill shall become a law without the concurrence
    of a majority of the members elected to each house” and 8(d) provides in pertinent part - “A bill shall be read by title on three different
    days in each house.”


  5. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 1:57 pm:

    Is that like Double-Secret-Probation-Duck-a-Tough-Vote?

    Eight members, two each from the Four Tops.

    Don’t you really need a ninth, to break the inevitable 4-4 votes?

    I nominate Squeezy.


  6. - Cassiopeia - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 1:58 pm:

    They appear to be looking for something to pass just to avoid the embarrassment of their failure.


  7. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 1:59 pm:

    I’ll second wordslinger’s nomination of Squeezy.

    Who better to decide our pension fate that a flourescent snake?


  8. - mythoughtis - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:00 pm:

    I fail to understand why reductions in pension benefits proposed by this commission would be any more constitutional than laws passed by the legislature?


  9. - Reality Check - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:01 pm:

    Totally undemocratic.

    Empowers 8 unelected, unaccountable people to make unilateral changes to the pension systems with scant legislative and zero executive oversight - both now (before April 2013) and twice a year in perpetuity.

    Outrageous.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:04 pm:

    When you are a coward, create a commission.

    Squeezy should be the Executive Director of the new “Agency” that will then be created for all the “work” that needs to be done.

    As an Executive Director, I think Squeezy can qualify for a pension!

    “And that is how we got Scott Lee Cohen!” - Still a favorite punch-line.


  11. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:04 pm:

    Didn’t we do something like this a couple of years or so ago? Seems that the commission had a report but there was no consensus on the findings and so no recommendations were forthcoming.


  12. - Other - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:05 pm:

    Looks like even more power for the leaders…


  13. - I don't want to live in Teabagistan - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:06 pm:

    Commissions: Where good ideas go to die!


  14. - figures - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:06 pm:

    so, G.A. Members have a choice to vote for one Unconstitutional Bill or another now……progress!!!


  15. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:07 pm:

    The Governor “shall” sign it and it shall become law? I may not be up on Illinois law, but can the GA force a Governor to sign a bill? Can’t he veto it?


  16. - Raising Kane - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:08 pm:

    The core defense for almost all litigation surrounding state law has a core tenent “passed by duly elected members of the Illinois General Assembly”. Enacting a bill this way would most certainly undercut its constitutionality.


  17. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:09 pm:

    This is the legislative equivalent of promising to handle all the costs for the big dinner party, collecting from each person their cover charge for the dinner party, getting the party bill from the waiter, then climbing out of the restaurant through the restroom window after passing earlier legislation requiring that restroom windows in restaurants be large enough for a fat cowardly politician to squeeze through.

    When politicians gamble with other people’s money, they always lose it all, double down a hundred times to ensure that they lost it, then stick everyone with the disasters they create.

    The last thing any citizen should do is give more money to these idiots in government.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:09 pm:

    Squeezy as the E.D. would have to report to the Commission and to the Genral Assembly. That would be fun.

    The next GA is Veto-Proofed and Supr-Majoritied, so with that being said, who doesn’t think the rules might change on this “new Commission” once the 71 and 40 know they can “tweak” it without resistance?


  19. - One Smart Cookie - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:11 pm:

    It appears that these politicians do not want to lose even one vote. I purpose we do not re-elect a single one due to the fact that they refuse to do their job and legislate.


  20. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:11 pm:

    The “enrolled bill” clause has generally been viewed by courts to be unchallengeable. Namely, if the Speaker and Senate President sign the bill, it is “de facto” in accordance with the law. That would make an interesting test drive of litigation based on Heipel’s dissent the last time this came up in the 80s.


  21. - 1776 - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:13 pm:

    I support pension reform but this clearly seems unconstitutional.

    - Separation of executive & legislative branches by mandating that the Governor “shall” sign it.

    - There is nothing for the Governor to sign. It’s a joint resolution.

    - Conceivably, you could have 59 Senators and 118 reps oppose pension law changes (using different resolutions) and it would still take effect because they didn’t act on the same resolution (the old legislative pay raise style).


  22. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:14 pm:

    Interesting, this also seems to follow the tact of the old pay commission. As has been said by others this about political cover for the Solons. With this cover they can let some secure appointees do the dirty work.

    I don’t know if there were any legal challenges to the pay commission. If so, I have to assume the challenges failed given that commission’s abolition by the GA and not the courts.

    So for the sake of argument, I’ll accept that the commission will survive. The problem for the pensions reducers is that the commission’s recommendations still have to be constitutional.

    Good luck with that.


  23. - Liberty_First - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:14 pm:

    Is this like asking your cousin to lean on the credit card company?


  24. - Sophocles - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:14 pm:

    Not even close to Constitutional.

    Love this part:

    “The Governor shall sign the bill and it shall become law.”

    Hey, why not include a provision that prohibits judicial review while you’re at it?


  25. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:16 pm:

    –The next GA is Veto-Proofed and Supr-Majoritied, so with that being said, who doesn’t think the rules might change on this “new Commission” once the 71 and 40 know they can “tweak” it without resistance?–

    Interesting point.

    If I were cynical, I could view it as a trick bag in which Dems were trying to trap Republicans into some tough “bipartisan” heavy lifting.

    Thank God I’m not cyncial. The Dems want to give up their super-majorities on this issue because its the right thing to do, in the Spirit of Squeezy.

    Still think you’d need a ninth vote, though.


  26. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:16 pm:

    Gov Quinn speaking in favor of the amendments to SB1673. Appears he thinks will help with state’s bonding rating with Moody’s.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:16 pm:

    ===Interesting, this also seems to follow the tact of the old pay commission.===

    I totally agree. It is going to COST something to PAY pensions.

    Is this “Money Sound”?


  28. - siriusly - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:18 pm:

    I agree, does not appear to be constitutional. Lame.


  29. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:19 pm:

    Just when you think they can’t get any more irresponsible, they find a way. Disgusting.


  30. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:23 pm:

    Whether or not it is constitutional isn’t the question.

    It’s whether the relevant clauses are part of the constitution which we enforce, part of the constitution we don’t unenforce or part of the constitution that is unenforceable.

    ;)


  31. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:23 pm:

    How about a commission to do all laws in Illinois, then we have the legislature come in for week and void what they feel the urge to void.

    Yeah, I know it would impact you Rich, but seems a great way to avoid actual democracy and stuff.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    ===If I were cynical, I could view it as a trick bag in which Dems were trying to trap Republicans into some tough “bipartisan” heavy lifting.===

    Maybe that’s why Cullerton was on the House floor on the GOP side …and unavailable for Media, so I saw.

    “Look, we want you to be a part of this. Don’t make us shut your party out. I’ll be in the Senate Anteroom waiting for your thoughts. By the way, I think the Speaker is going to call the Pension Committee to meet. Talk with you later, Tom.”


  33. - figures - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    wonder if they will actually vote on something so ridiculuous?……..what a dumb question, of course they will!


  34. - Conjunction Junction - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:25 pm:

    I remember a tweet by @ILFakehouseNews that suggested we were installing our own fiscal cliff on the 3rd floor of the Capitol. Now I’m thinking that was more prescient than funny. Looks like we’re heading that direction with this “super-committee.” This takes kicking the can down the road to a whole new level.


  35. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:28 pm:

    === The “enrolled bill” clause has generally been viewed by courts to be unchallengeable. Namely, if the Speaker and Senate President sign the bill, it is “de facto” in accordance with the law. That would make an interesting test drive of litigation based on Heipel’s dissent the last time this came up in the 80s. ===

    JB, that was 30 years ago, there have been a few cases that have rejected the Enrolled Bill doctrine. I wouldn’t count on that saving this garbage in and of itself. Besides, the relevance of the Enrolled Bill doctrine related to the certification that the bill met all the procedural requirements, such as whether amendments were germane and 3 day reading, etc

    The structure is were this will fall or survive, not the procedural issues. After those court losses, Legis. staff are going to make sure it’s done right.


  36. - Anonymour - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:29 pm:

    OW,
    I think you’re wrong about Squeezey. He wouldn’t take a pension. He’s a dollar-a-day snake. Just give him a regular diet of mice (and maybe an occasional small legislator or two) and he’s fine.


  37. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:31 pm:

    Who are the members of the commission?

    Unconstitutional delegation of authority. That pesky constitution, again, says what you gotta do to pass a bill. This ain’t it.


  38. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:31 pm:

    “…the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate shall certify the bill and it shall be presented to the Governor in accordance with Article 4, Section 9(a) of the Illinois Constitution. The Governor shall sign the bill and it shall become law.”

    Article 4, Section 9(a) of the Illinois Constitution says “If the Governor approves the bill, he shall sign it and it shall become law.” Am I reading too much into this, or is their a drafing error here? It seems like the language in the bill skips the “approval” part and directs the Governor to sign the bill. Now, I know that’s not Constitutional but I thought it was interesting.


  39. - figures - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:33 pm:

    Norseman, your “enrolled bill” analysis is spot on- remember JB is a tea party lawyer who has expertise in trying to get people removed from the ballot, his interpretation shall meet his desires not what the Constitution actually intended which is for the General Assembly to pass legislation not a commission


  40. - Abe the Babe - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:33 pm:

    Apparently these guys did not watch the resounding failure of the super committee in congress. And that committee had more of an incentive to get a deal done. Pensions are a legitimate crisis but the members to this commission are not going to feel that crisis until its too late.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:34 pm:

    - Anonymour -,

    Squeezy might take half of what you propose up front, but I do not want to be the one to speak for Squeezy, Squeezy … well,…Squeezy has always spoke for him/herself!


  42. - Big Red - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:35 pm:

    Members of the legislature just need to put on their big boy and big girl pants and do the job they were elected to do. Madigan et al wanted super majorities, now they’ve got them. Do your job, have some guts. Quit trying to be cute, make the tough choices you asked the voters to give you the opportunity to make.


  43. - Dazed & Confused - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:35 pm:

    This goofy proposal from Governor Quinn says that the commission can consider any “changes to law” necessary. It could include:

    Tax increases
    Elimination of tax incentives
    Changes in the state aid formula
    Medicaid reform

    And the legislature will agree to this???


  44. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:38 pm:

    Norsemen-

    I was looking a few days ago, all I saw were re-affirmations in 90s and 00s… do you have a couple of cases where courts overlooked enrolled bill doctrine to strike down a law?


  45. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:39 pm:

    - remember JB is a tea party lawyer -

    figures, you’re almost right, you’d have to insert “wannabe” before lawyer. JB loves providing “expert” legal analysis without actually being a lawyer.


  46. - Jaded - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:41 pm:

    Gee, I don’t know, how about the Governor create a commmission that can draft a bill that he can present to the General Assembly for them to make changes, and pass…or not. Nah, that sounds like too much work.


  47. - figures - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:43 pm:

    Small Town Liberal-
    oh my, that would make JB’s Consitutional Analysis suspect at best?


  48. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:45 pm:

    Quinn compares pension cmish to a jury: “men & women of great wisdom will choose 8 men & women good & true”

    I think I am going to be ill


  49. - Irish - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:45 pm:

    If all it takes are eight members to decide on bills and the Governor “shall” sign them, then I see a tremendous savings immediately. Get rid of the balance of the members of the GA, everybody except the eight, and get rid of the governor as his participation is preset. Then the Lt. Governor job becomes important and we have solved that issue as well.

    Savings = 177+- x yearly salary, benefits, pensions. Plus you could have a smaller building for the eight to meet in. We could turn the Capitol building into a casino…… yeah that would work.


  50. - Anonymour - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:48 pm:

    Good idea, Irish. Now that you mention it, the Governor is merely proposing an extreme variation on his Cutback Amendment. I’m sure it will work just as well!


  51. - Jaded - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:49 pm:

    Quote of the day by Pat Quinn

    “the Governor has no role in the process”. Truer words have never been spoken.

    Another dumb statement by our Governor;
    “there is no difference in this process that the regular process”

    Yes there is Governor. If the leaders bottle up a bill in rules under the regular process, it does not become law. If they do it under this process, it becomes law. Big difference.


  52. - Mark - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:52 pm:

    How can you solve the problem of pension hiking legislation when no one will even admit pension hiking legislation is a problem.
    An AA type intervention is required.


  53. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:52 pm:

    1) I have expertise in removing people from the ballot? Um, really?

    2) I didn’t provide much legal analysis, but if you’d like, I can point you to the cases. You know, so you can learn a thing or two besides being a 7 year old girl who throws insults because someone isn’t in your tribe.


  54. - Roadiepig - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:53 pm:

    Rumor our of Chicago is Laurence Msall and Ty Fahner have already volunteered their services for the “commission” lol


  55. - east central - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:56 pm:

    So now they are outsourcing legislating?

    Is there no dignity left in the House?

    And if not, will the Senate be dignified enough to vote it down?


  56. - Mark - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:58 pm:

    Legislatively hike the pensions then figure out a way to fund them with a commission or whatever means necessary. Great.


  57. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:00 pm:

    Tweet, just Quinn just said the commision can’t create new taxes. Now, is that really being fair? We need to tax the 1% of the civic club and solve the real problem of REVENUE. So we can pay pensions and bills and leave medicare and medicaid alone.

    Tax increases
    Elimination of tax incentives
    Changes in the state aid formula
    Medicaid reform

    And the legislature will agree to this???


  58. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:01 pm:

    Amendment passes 7-2 even though members expressed concerns about it.


  59. - Reggaeman - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:01 pm:

    Watching the live blog, the Guv reminds me of Jon Lovitz of SNL when he was making things up on the fly with his signature “yeah, that’s the ticket!”


  60. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:04 pm:

    I really do not understand why Madigan doesn’t lead on this issue. Voters have made it clear they will not hold people accountable. He’s better than this.


  61. - average citizen - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:04 pm:

    Pass a pension reform bill already! Enough with the shenanigans!


  62. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:06 pm:

    Mark, AA is here and ready to intervene to stop this batch of baloney.


  63. - Fan of the Game - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:07 pm:

    Nameless, faceless commissions. Is that what our state government is about? We have jellyfish for leaders.


  64. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:09 pm:

    - AA -

    Thank goodness! Drop some Knowledge, Partner.


  65. - Steve Bartin - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:12 pm:

    The Illinois state constitution says pensions can’t be diminished. There will be a lawsuit. Anyway, what could happen is: the legislature could demand that current workers pay a much bigger percentage into their fund upfront.


  66. - cover - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:13 pm:

    I see nothing in House amendment 15 that would prohibit this Commission from recommending a tax increase, or the elimination of tax incentives, to achieve the 100% funding level. Section 10 lists the factors the Commission must consider, but does not preclude any particular law change in order to reach the funding goal.


  67. - Irish - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:13 pm:

    EXTRA!! EXTRA!! This just in!!!!

    Governor Quinn proposes that the seven dwarfs be brought in to join Squeezy to create a panel to make all decisions in the future. The Governor was heard to say ” This governing thing is too hard. I have tried but short of pounding on the podium with my shoe I can’t get people to take me seriously. The dwarfs have always been friends of mine since I was in short pants. So it is logical that I choose them to work with Squeezy to make the will of the carttoon people the law of the land”


  68. - Excessively Rabid - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:14 pm:

    Well, there’s a few more plum jobs to hand out. How much does it pay?


  69. - AnotherAnonymous - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:22 pm:

    “The Commission shall determine the changes to law necessary to ensure that the State Employee Retirement System, the General Assembly Retirement System, the State University Retirement System, and the Teacher’s Retirement System will reach 100% actuarial funding….”

    Gee, I wonder why the Judges’ Retirement System of Illinois wasn’t included?


  70. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:22 pm:

    JB, I’m out and about so I’ll have to look for it later. Even so, your point is irrelevant. The commission would be at risk for substantive, not legislative procedure grounds.


  71. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:24 pm:

    I was going to try to add something serious, but, OMG, Irish, heck with it–that is hilarious! And this is gonna sound lame, but as for the bill and amendment, I just truly hope something passes that is both reasonable and Constitutional. Commission, smission. Such votes regarding folks’ hard-earned pensions are just too important and should be taken straight up by the House, Senate, and the Governor then individually decide. Why invite anOTHer lawsuit, when all of this is gonna end up in the Judicial Branch anyway? Stand up and let’s see a yea or nay on such critical measures, straight up or down, followed by the Executive’s signature or not. This is about people’s, and family’s’, livelihood and retirement monies, for land’s sake!


  72. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:24 pm:

    Think a QOD should be other issues that we can address via Supercommittee…


  73. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:26 pm:

    Very well played, - Irish - …

    Glad I wasn’t eating or drinking!


  74. - Tommydanger - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:27 pm:

    What’s next, a trillion dollar coin?


  75. - Anonymour - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:28 pm:

    Irish,
    You forgot to add that the dwarfs will be working with Squeezey night and day to solve this problem.


  76. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:32 pm:

    OneMan, how about appropriations? Oh, excuse me, its kinda like that now with a super committee of the leaders.


  77. - Irish - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:33 pm:

    Thanks OW, JTWIIO.


  78. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:39 pm:

    Irish, are you going to be the agent for the seven? Might need you to take Squeezy’s place if he gets greedy and wants more than mice to eat!


  79. - someonehastosayit - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:41 pm:

    Bunch of weasels.


  80. - Soxfan - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:42 pm:

    To all those complaining about the commission: Let’s here YOUR new ideas. And legislative action is obviously is NOT an option. Keep in mind, they couldn’t pass something during this, the “lame-duckiest” of lame-duck sessions ever.

    Also keep in mind that whatever is passed will be challenged in the courts and will almost assurredly be struck down. It’s all about getting something passed to get Wall Street off the state’s back. We’re years behind Rhode Island, Arizona, et al — ie, states that passed pension reform that were ultimately struck down by the courts.

    It’s all about moving on to the next stage of negotiations. This is one way to do that.


  81. - Western Camel - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:43 pm:

    - Reality Check - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 2:01 pm:
    Totally undemocratic.
    Empowers 8 unelected, unaccountable people to make unilateral changes to the pension systems with scant legislative and zero executive oversight - both now (before April 2013) and twice a year in perpetuity.

    Outrageous.

    BINGO!!!!!! Nice Summation, RC.


  82. - Jechislo - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:44 pm:

    This State’s governmental bodies have degenerated into a cesspool of putrid cowards.

    I’m a Republican. If ANY Republican vote for this piece of dung I’ll work against them in the election. Honest I will.


  83. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:48 pm:

    Soxfan…

    If legislative action is not an option, then we deserve to be screwed… Pure and simple, something this major needs to be decided by elected officials, not by a commission.

    This isn’t closing a jail someplace, this is a group that unless action is taken can raise my income taxes. How wrong/scary/stupid/insane is that. Taxation without action by an elected body? Really?

    Two, how about ‘working on it night and day’ Governor Quinn put a real proposal out there instead of this stuff.

    I don’t know, hell the governor could say unless you take action I start vetoing virtually everything, I call you into special session every chance I get.

    Do something….


  84. - inker - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:48 pm:

    For 28 years it is the same old story. I would request contacting our legislators.
    Perhaps this will help?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZB-DUCrhVQ


  85. - Cook County Commoner - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:50 pm:

    I guess this means the legislature will do nothing about state pensions. Something like Simson-Bowles on the federal level? Maybe it’s best to wait until a few of the county and local government pension plans force some chapter 9 bankruptcies, like in California. Then the legislature could use these fiscal failures as a club on the state employee unions. But the apparent fact that so many in the legislature are so bought by the unions and don’t care who knows it is troubling.


  86. - Sue - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:53 pm:

    Watching last night’s WTTW Chicago Tonight and listening to the babbling from the Union Represenative urging higher taxes and retention of the COLA’s- it dawned on me that the best solution and one free from Constitutional attack is simply to DO NOTHING- thats right- NOTHING- each year the GA can appropriate some money to contribute which leaves all other State needs in tact and adequately funded and contribute the balance to the Pension Funds- then in 8 years(based on current investment returns and anticipated beneficiary payments) the Funds will run out of money- then the beneficiaries are free to bring their payment demands to the Court of Claims- Seriously that might at least prevent the court challenges any reform plan will bring- On a more rationale plain- The proposed reductions to COLA and increased contribution requirement will allow the funds to last longer- The truth is there is no reform the Unions will tolerate if it means a reduction in benefits and there is no reform plan that works and heads off the insolvency without reducing benefits so maybe the suggestion to do nothing is best - what I don’t understand is where is the class action on the part of active teachers who should be suing for being forced to remain in the in the pension funds and contribute into what can perhaps now best be described as a Ponzi Scheme


  87. - Right to die - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:54 pm:

    The right to die seems to be the only right this legislature is willing to allow teachers to keep. Oh gosh, I forgot, that is the option they want us to enact. There we go again being so darned uncooperative.


  88. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 3:58 pm:

    Norsemen-

    Oh, no doubt the substantive grounds are what matter here. The procedural grounds are of academic interest.


  89. - Soxfan - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:04 pm:

    >

    One Man: Yes, we elected them, but truth be told, I don’t think anyone — politicians or the ones who elected them — see behind the end of their current term. I’m guessing you’re not an elected official, nor am I, but the legislators kinda need to think that way if they expect to get reelected.

    That’s why — after what, 50 years now? — a different approach is needed. You know what they say about those who do the same thing and expect a different result.


  90. - Bill - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:10 pm:

    The bill specifically bans “lobbyists” from serving on the commission.


  91. - NW IL Democrat - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:11 pm:

    Fire them all … fire them all. Illinois lack of governmental leadership is appalling and we are the laughing stock of the nation. Our singular inability to pass pension reform reflects a poverty of our politics. Legislators and legislative leaders are basically saying, “we give up … the special interest groups are in complete control” …


  92. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:12 pm:

    Norsemen: Sorry, short term vision and incompetence are not reasons, from the state university system to the interstate highway system to the income taxes, legislators have demonstrated the ability to see more than 2 years down the road.


  93. - Third Party - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:12 pm:

    Sue

    I’m not a union fan or man but the unions have suggested higher contributions and longer working careers. You must not have been listening closely. Perhaps it gets drowned out but they have volunteered concessions but want a seat at the table. So far that has not happened. It would certainly help if all parties were at the table!


  94. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:14 pm:

    How do I get on this commission? I can guarantee that everyone on this commission will already have their nest feathered and their political eggs in a row before they get there.


  95. - Soxfan - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:15 pm:

    Not when the legislation directly impacts a good chunk of their constituency, including retirees. Not to mention that many of these folks are their best campaign volunteers.


  96. - Huggybunny - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:16 pm:

    Somebody help me out here, am I understanding this amendment 15 correctly? This “commission” of “unknowns” will decide amount of COLA to be received, definition of salary basis on which to calculation member’s retirement benefit, the amount of employee contribution, and will also compare public employee pension benefits in
    comparable states and the private sector–is this to lower salaries and eliminate another annoyance, collective bargaining?? So no “need” for all these pesky, multiple pension reform bills to be introduced? This commission will be a “one stop shop” and the House and Senate then vote on whatever they come up with? WOW, the Pols will have a lot more free time on their hands if this flies!


  97. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:19 pm:

    I think the commissioner of the commission should be Gary Bettman


  98. - Dirty Red - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:20 pm:

    How is this not DOA? Is the Senate backing off claims they won’t pass anything unconstitutional? Which retirement system would these commissioners be in? How is this supposed to satisfy the mayor’s insistence on including Chicago systems?


  99. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:21 pm:

    Huggybunny,

    Reading it literally, it’s even broader than that …


  100. - Bill - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:21 pm:

    After today I’m convinced that Quinn is seriously impaired.


  101. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:22 pm:

    All that’s left is to approve it in the wee hours and run for home …


  102. - Chicago Dave - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:24 pm:

    Does anyone know when the full House is going to vote on this? Has a schedule been set?


  103. - nobody - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:24 pm:

    Michael Corleone (Madigan):

    It’s not personal Sonny, It’s strictly bussiness.


  104. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:24 pm:

    Rich,

    When I read 14, 15 & 16, my first thought was the pay raise commission.


  105. - someonehastosayit - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:27 pm:

    Soxfan…Here’s a solution: Incentivize current members to move to Self-Managed Accounts with a little sweetener to move. So many members are fearful that they might receive nothing that they would gladly convert their accounts to a 401-A plan. SURS did this back in the 90s so it is constitutional. With members getting out of the traditional plan the system would be relieved of some of its long term obligations.


  106. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:29 pm:

    House to go back in session at 4:30. Let’s see how much longer that will be in real time!


  107. - Sue - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:30 pm:

    Third Man- I was listening and indeed understand the willingness to pay higher contributions(which under man Union contracts results in the School District Employer Pick-up costing more $$)- the reality is (YOU Don’t want to hear the Truth) is the unfunded liability has grown tooooo large to deal with assuming what the Unions are volunteering were to occur- The COLA reduction and extending the retirement dates shaves a third off the unfunded liabilities overnight- nothing else works to get the funds onto a sane funding schedule


  108. - Mark - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:30 pm:

    By AA intervention I meant Alcoholics Anonymous intervention.
    The legislature needs an intervention.
    No one will admit legislative pension hikes is the primary cause of the problem.
    Starting TRS pensions alone are over 40% higher now than 1971 thanks to increasing the accrual rate from 1.5% to 2.2%.
    Just one of many legislative pension hiking examples.
    In the case of TRS, the funding for the legislative hikes was primarily dumped on the State of Illinois contribution.
    Even as prior, during, and subsequent to the 1971 - 2011 pension hiking spree the State of Illinois was typically not making its full contribution.
    So now that the pensions have been hiked, there’s all sorts of schemes to figure out how to fund them.


  109. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:31 pm:

    JB, I’ll let an LRU publication provide a little more education on the enrolled bill rule. I’ve replaced the number referencing the footnotes with the actual footnote.

    “Leaders’ signatures to certify procedural complianceThis provision was intended to put into the Constitution the “enrolled bill rule” under
    which the signatures of the legislative leaders are conclusive evidence that procedural requirements have been followed. The Illinois Supreme Court has held that this rule applies to the requirement in this subsection that each bill be read on 3 days; the court refused to
    invalidate laws for alleged failure to have been read on 3 days because the signatures were properly placed on them. [Fuehrmeyer v. City of Chicago, 57 Ill. 2d 193, 311 N.E.2d 116 (1974); Polich v. Chicago School Finance Auth., 79 Ill. 2d 188, 402 N.E.2d 247 (1980).]

    But the Illinois Supreme Court more recently warned that it may not allow regular legislative violation of the requirement of reading each bill on three days in each house. [Geja’s Cafe v. Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Auth., 153 Ill. 2d 239, 606 N.E.2d 1212 (1992).]

    The Illinois Supreme Court has held that this “enrolled bill” rule does not apply to the requirements that each bill address only one subject, and that appropriations measures be limited to appropriations. The court examines the text of each law questioned under these provisions
    to determine whether it complies with them. [See People ex rel. Kirk v. Lindberg, 59 Ill. 2d 38, 320 N.E.2d 17 (1974) and Benjamin v. Devon Bank, 68 Ill. 2d 142, 368 N.E.2d 878 (1977).]

    1970 Illinois Constitution Annotated for Legislators (2/05), LRU


  110. - Anonymour - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:34 pm:

    Rich is reporting on the live feed that Cullerton is backing the Commission bill. Hmmmm.


  111. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:37 pm:

    === OneMan - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:12 pm:

    Norsemen: Sorry, short term vision and incompetence are not reasons, from the state university system to the interstate highway system to the income taxes, legislators have demonstrated the ability to see more than 2 years down the road. ===

    Did you forget a “not” in the phrase “legislators have ‘NOT’ demonstrated the ability to see more than 2 years down the road.” As with most things there are always exceptions, but I don’t see legislators thinking beyond the next election.


  112. - inker - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:39 pm:

    You all don’t seem to get it. The money was spent on member initiatives for 28 years.
    Do you really think any of them give two hoots in a high hat if employees live or die?


  113. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:40 pm:

    === Rich is reporting on the live feed that Cullerton is backing the Commission bill. Hmmmm. ===

    Cullerton punts to move the ball?


  114. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:45 pm:

    ===Benjamin Yount @BenYount

    Latest from pensions: Nekrtiz says Quinn pitched commission two days ago.===

    Figures! Who better to come up with a plan to pass leadership on an issue to someone else than our current incompetent Governor.


  115. - Anonymour - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:47 pm:

    Sine Die. Wow. What a Governor! What a State!


  116. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:47 pm:

    House has adjourned sine die. It’s all over folks.


  117. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:48 pm:

    No vote. House ajourned.


  118. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:48 pm:

    === Sine Die. Wow. Man. Quinn took it on the chin today.

    by Rich Miller via mobile 4:46 PM ===

    Couldn’t say it better than the master wordsmith.


  119. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:48 pm:

    They ducked on passing the buck!


  120. - Leave a Light on George - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:50 pm:

    Video from the first commission meeting.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=sm1Jyusyoqk


  121. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 4:58 pm:

    Sine Die!

    Welp. Lesson Learned.

    Michael J. Madigan and John Cullerton now have their Chambers, they are Super-Majoritied, they are Veto-Proofed, and the weight of just about everything fall upon them and their Caucuses…

    Good luck with that!


  122. - Ready To Get Out - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 5:01 pm:

    And I was going to recommend 8 retirees that would volunteer to sit on the commission without pay!


  123. - Sideliner - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 5:07 pm:

    If they had no real intention of voting on the pension commission it wouldn’t matter what a total mess it made of legality.

    It sure looked they were doing something, though, didn’t it?


  124. - Wilson Pickett - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 5:11 pm:

    I would like to say a new low has been reached by our state elected officials but I think that they are still slip-sliding downhill. This is definitely “the Chicago-way” of government. You hire a hitman to hire a hit man to hire a hitman so that there is such a lengthy trail to follow that nobody in their right mind can trace it back to “who it was that actually hired the hit” on the victim. You try to throw as many people between you and the oncoming bus as possible so they can slow down the oncoming bus. That “brave” political strategy and the one where you throw a 900 page piece of legislation down in from of your congressman and say you have 10 minutes to read it before we call for a vote is “the Chicago-way”. Mandatory “term limits” is the next piece of legislation that this “commission” should ram down the throats of Illinois voters. At least that one would taste a little sweeter as it went down our throats.


  125. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 5:15 pm:

    “Never confuse Activity with Achievement.” - John Wooden.


  126. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 5:19 pm:

    Sine Die.

    Further AA sayeth not.

    Well, except that Mark’s post above about “legislative benefit increases” driving the unfunded is a crock of hooey. Underfunding drives the unfunded. Go read an actuarial report before you spout off.


  127. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 5:21 pm:

    Never confuse Democracy with Democrat.
    -Arthur Andersen


  128. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 5:30 pm:

    Great closing sayings and quotes from RNUG, OW and AA. All appropriate


  129. - Former Merit Comp Slave - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 5:36 pm:

    Well Cullerton says no cost shift, only his bill is constitutional but he’s willing to add all systems except judges. Madigan wants cost shift but is “willing” to stand back and let his chamber pass what they will. We saw how that worked. Two people can’t agree so it all goes down the tubes. My money’s still on Madigan.


  130. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 5:50 pm:

    Arthur - what is specifically wrong about Mark’s post? Isn’t it true that benefits were substantially increased over the past 40 years? If this hadn’t been done, wouldn’t the underfunding be substantially less?
    This is where the AFSCME’s argument has always fallen flat for me. They pushed the legislature to increase benefits — it didn’t just happened. If they hadn’t (or if the GA had funded it - AFSCME’s one good point), then we wouldn’t be in this mess. AFSCME has to take some ownership for the increased benefits part of the mess.


  131. - Mark - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 5:57 pm:

    The figures are accurate. They just don’t like them. Obviously if the pension gets bigger, the funding needs to get bigger.


  132. - Archimedes - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 6:07 pm:

    Anonymous. Read the COGFA report on pensions. Increases in benefits is among the least significant factors.


  133. - Mark - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 6:12 pm:

    Obviously those benefit increases significant. COGFA can wordsmith all it wants.


  134. - Mark - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 6:20 pm:

    Actually the COGFA report does list benefit increases as a significant factor.
    Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, March, 2012.
    A Report on the Financial Condition of the IL State Retirement Systems.
    Page 7 of the report.
    Executive Summary.
    Second point.
    “From FY 2001 through FY 2011, the combined unfunded liabilities of the systems increased by $58.1 billion based upon the market value of assets. The main factors for this increase in unfunded liabilities were actuarially insufficient employer contributions, lower-than-assumed investment returns in 5 years, and benefit increases, along with other miscellaneous actuarial factors.”
    http://www.ilga.gov/commission/cgfa2006/Upload/FinCondILStateRetirementSysFY%202011Mar2012.pdf


  135. - Horseshoe Voter - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 6:22 pm:

    This has made me wonder how constitutional the School Code Mandate Waiver process really is.


  136. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 6:23 pm:

    There you go Mark. Don’t let facts get in the way of your position.


  137. - Jechislo - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 6:30 pm:

    Never confuse Quinn with a Governor.

    -Jechislo


  138. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 6:32 pm:

    This commission bill was just a slap by Quinn at the GA. Madigan dropped it with hardly a notice.


  139. - iThink - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 6:47 pm:

    Mark,

    The benefit increases are quantified for you in Chart 3, they are responsible for $5.8B of the $64B change in liability since 1996. While $6B is hardly chump change, they weren’t close to being the main driver of this problem.

    We would still be having this discussion even if the there were no increases. We can argue about what is “significant,” but this problem is mostly due to funding, not benefits.


  140. - Calico Jim - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 6:56 pm:

    You’d think the judges would be embarrassed to be excluded from the pension reform bills. How cynical is it for the GA to say “we are excluding judges because they would never uphold a law that affected (diminished) their pensions as it will do to every non-judge pension recipient.”


  141. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 7:53 pm:

    - Norseman -

    Thanks, appreciate that!

    - Jechislo -, that was pretty good!


  142. - Roadiepig - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 7:56 pm:

    Two quotes from Cullerton’s presser tonight:

    Cullerton: we shouldn’t have our credit downgraded because the pension system is stronger than it was in 1970, when Constitution was written.

    Cullerton: It makes no sense for us to pass a pension reform bill, only to have it thrown out by the Supreme Court.

    Wow. Rational thoughts from one of the big four. Maybe something legal, fair, and agreeable to all sides can pass with the new congress. I won’t hold my breath, but maybe there is hope…


  143. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 8:03 pm:

    ===Rational thoughts from one of the big four.===

    Remember, after tonight, there is only the “Big 2″ and that’s it. Please do not humor “Two-Putt” and “Jo Galloway”, they are stuck enough for the next tow years as it is.


  144. - Mark - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 8:05 pm:

    Chart 3 doesn’t give sufficient detail about TRS benefit increases.
    Chart 3 includes all 5 state pension plans and doesn’t itemize plans.
    Chart 3 states the employer contribution, which I assume includes the State of Illinois “fair share contribution on behalf of the employer”, is the largest change in unfunded liabilities, and as I’ve pointed out, benefit increases cause the State of Illinois contribution to increase.
    The benefit increases I’ve discussed occurred from 1971 - 2011, and Chart 3 is only 1996 - 2011.
    It’s common sense and math.
    Increasing the accrual rate from 1.5 to 2.2% increased the starting pension over 40%.


  145. - Sophocles - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 8:07 pm:

    If the General Assembly can enact a bill usurping Executive authority, cant the Governor sign an executive order usurping Legislative authority?

    Look, I actually wouldnt mind a base-closing style bill: where the commission submits a bill to both chambers and both chambers are required to give it an up or down vote.

    but “solutions” to the pension problem that are unconstitutional, require a time machine, or otherwise ignore the laws of physics or arithmetic aren’t really Solutions.


  146. - Soccertease - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 8:10 pm:

    Calico, I would call it bribery.


  147. - Budget Watcher - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 8:17 pm:

    The Governor certainly needed this done before his upcoming budget address. Without assumptions for next year’s pension contribution savings, he’ll be hard pressed to make FY14 numbers work.


  148. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 8:26 pm:

    All eight positions should be taken by Schnorf.


  149. - western illinois - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 8:27 pm:

    Not only might the judges view it as an insult or bribery or a joke because the GA could come back on them after a ruling.

    Cullterton Its less underfunded than 1970 and somehow we have survived which makes me wonder if this is a whole put on crisis
    But
    We live in a country where AIG is going to sue because it bailout was a bad deal for them


  150. - Mark - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 8:30 pm:

    Let’s look at another TRS benefit increase, COLA.
    TRS COLA increased from 1.5% not compound to 3% compounded during the period 1971 - 2011.
    Take a starting pension of $50,000, which as I’ve pointed out increased 40% due to accrual rate increase from 1.5% to 2.2%.
    Let’s say the retiree retires at 55 and lives to 80.
    That’s a 25 year pension.
    After 25 years, the $50,000 starting pension grows to $68,000 at 1.5% not compounded, versus $101,640 at 3% compounded.
    That’s an increase of 49%.
    So I don’t know how COGFA came up with these numbers, but any retirement expert or actuary examining TRS benefit increases and the funding associated with them would conclude there’s a big problem. The majority of the benefit increase funding was just dumped on the State of Illinois contribution, which as the chart indicates is the largest change in unfunded liabilities.
    The State of Illinois is just supposed to come up with a pot of gold to fund all these benefit increases.
    Also the chart 3 in the COGFA report indicates salary increases as attributed to a negative .191 changes in unfunded liabilities.
    That should tell you something in discussing what we are talking about.
    Teacher and administrator salaries have skyrocketed in the Chicago suburbs during that period.
    Maybe the chart doesn’t correlate to what we are discussing for some reason.
    But it doesn’t make common sense.


  151. - Anon. - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 8:43 pm:

    ==How cynical is it for the GA to say “we are excluding judges because they would never uphold a law that affected (diminished) their pensions as it will do to every non-judge pension recipient.” ==

    Not to mention stupid. Does anyone think a judge will rule that it’s ok to diminish the benefits of another pension system, when there is no constitutional principle that will protect the JRS that does not apply equally to the other systems? Rule against the SERS, judge, and next year, the GA do it to you.


  152. - O'Rick The Great One - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 9:07 pm:

    What bothers me most about this pension reform legislation is the comment the Govenor made during one of his press conferences. “If we pass this legislation there would be more money for the poor and elderly.” Aren’t most retirees “Elderly”?


  153. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 9:38 pm:

    Mark, obviously you have made up your mind (probably doesn’t take long) but for the benefit of others who are interested in the facts:
    1) The TRS benefit formula change carried an estimated $1 billion cost. The benefit was to be funded by a combination of increased member contributions, school district contributions, and a State match specified in statute. The first two groups are continuing to fulfill their obligation, but Blago/Filan wiped the State match off the books.
    2) TRS never had a 1.5 percent formula. The old formula consisted of 4 steps for each ten years of service, with the accrual rates set at 1.67 percent for the first ten years of service, then 1.9%, 2.1%, and 2.3%. No way did the change to the 2.2 flat rate equal a 40 percent increase. Closer to 10 percent for your hypothetical example.
    3) Teachers also paid to have service earned before the effective date of the new law credited at the new formula.
    My advice-do your homework before posting here or stick to scrawling on bathroom walls.


  154. - union busters - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 9:50 pm:

    did anybody notice that Harmon removed the hold off Sb1556 removing 1900 people from the unions. What a piece of crap. I hope you idiots that think the democrats are for the unions wake up.


  155. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 9:51 pm:

    Okay… My new years resolution was to comment instead of read only!! As someone who has 18 years in one of the retirement systems, I ask give me my contributions and I will invest it. Stop taking my almost 10% a check. I know self reliance is uncool now a days but I would rather know my fate at 40 than watch this train wreck. Work night and day on this…. I love this site and diversity of thoughts and ideas… So now what? The D’s have the ability to create a pension plan and pass it. How long will it take since our Governor is working night and day….? Uh, if you believe that and only the top 1% got a tax increase. Happy New Year!


  156. - Mark - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 10:23 pm:

    What TRS benefit formula change that carried an estimated $1 billion cost?
    TRS changed their benefits many times between 1971 - 2011 so what one are you referring to.
    Teachers and school districts fulfilled their obligations?
    Technically yes but let’s look at the obligations.
    Teachers in a majority of school districts in Illinois pay little or nothing to the pensions in a collective bargaining negotiation tactic known as Board Paid TRS whereas the board/school district/taxpayer picks up the pension contribution.
    The school district contribution to TRS is a miniscule .58% (a little over 1/2 of 1%).
    A benefit increase asking the state to shoulder the burden in a “state match” is just dumping the pension funding on the state and asking them to find a bag full of money somewhere magically, money they seemingly didn’t have since they weren’t fully funding the pensions before the benefit increase.
    TRS accrual rate was 1.5% in 1970.
    Yes the percentage increase from 1.5% to 2.2% is over 40%.


  157. - Mark - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 10:43 pm:

    Might as well address the last comment too.
    I’m assuming it refers to the accrual rate.
    “3) Teachers also paid to have service earned before the effective date of the new law credited at the new formula.”
    I take it the comment is referring to the 2.2 Upgrade formula.
    Actually some, not all, teachers paid to have service earned before the effective date of the new law credited at the new formula.
    From the TRS website.
    “Only years before the 98-99 school year need to be upgraded. If you have only a few years of service prior to July 1, 1998, upgrading is probably not necessary. The program has a provision that for every three years of service earned after June 30, 1998, one year of pre-1998 service is upgraded for free.
    How does 2.2 affect the calculation of my retirement benefit?
    The 2.2 formula allows you to reach the maximum retirement benefit of 75 percent of your final average salary in 34 years instead of 38 required under the four-step formula.”
    So before 2.2, the accrual rate was:
    First 10 years: 1.67
    Second 10 years: 1.90
    Third 10 years: 2.10
    Years beyond 30: 2.30
    The result is one more example of TRS pension hiking laws signed by Governors, as increasing the accrual rate, increases pensions, which increases the States Contribution, so the State of Illinois once again has to find some money to fund the benefit increase.


  158. - "You can't make this up"!!!! - Tuesday, Jan 8, 13 @ 11:41 pm:

    Maybe they will come to the conclusion that house and senate members with part time jobs shouldn’t get a generous pension, or taxpayer provided health insurance…. Because most of them make 6 figures with their “full” time job!


  159. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jan 9, 13 @ 12:18 am:

    Oh lord, Mark, it’s past bedtime.
    1)The benefit Formula change referenced was the 1998 2.2 Formula. The TRS collected the increased member contribution, “on-behalf” or directly. (that point has previously been debated on this blog.) Regardless of the district’s accounting, the contributions are collected
    by TRS. Along with 2.2 upgrade payments, the total revenues collected from members and districts exceed $1 billion since the law’s inception.
    As far as the (short-lived) 0.58% State match goes, at the time the Edgar administration had identified a finding source for the required payments. Gov. Ryan kept on schedule and then Gov. Filan wiped them out in 2003 as the POBs were issued.
    The 1.5 to 2.2 comparison is mathematically correct, as is 800/16=50. Neither calculation is relevant to a discussion of pension reform or the cost of TRS benefits.
    3) The 2.2 formula change law offered a choice for members with a short amount of current time in TRS and who may be approaching retirement in a few years. This option simply allowed the member to earn one year of upgraded prior service for each three years credited under the new formula.
    Finally, I would remind you that a 2006 law essentially doomed benefit increases due to the procedural requirements.
    Capische?


  160. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 9, 13 @ 12:52 am:

    – Cincinnatus
    Comment:
    All eight positions should be taken by Schnorf.–

    That makes no sense, of course, but careful what you wish for.

    If you put heavy-hitters like Schnorf, Soccermom, AA, and others out on the line, you better back them up.

    I’m down. Are you?


  161. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 9, 13 @ 12:58 am:

    AA is smarter than the average bear, for those interested in the subject.

    I learn from him every day. If I have a question, I look to him first.

    You have an outstanding citizen at work there, folks.


  162. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Jan 9, 13 @ 1:20 am:

    Wordslinger - to put Schnorf, AA and other credible people on this project would mean there is a desire to solve the problem. I don’t think the GW’s are there yet.


  163. - Harry - Wednesday, Jan 9, 13 @ 5:16 am:

    Pat Quinn sued that the pay commission was illegal. He lost. Quinn v. Donnewald. So, will he veto this bill?

    You couldn’t make this stuff up.

    The Pay Commission findings could be vetoed or amended by the Gov and returned to the Commission for further study/action. This new bill requires him to sign.

    Hard to imagine how this could be even as constitutional as all the suspect pesnion ideas.

    What a pathetic bunch we keep re-electing.


  164. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 9, 13 @ 6:11 am:

    - AA -

    Well, Well, WELL Done!

    - wordslinger -,

    ===If you put heavy-hitters like Schnorf, Soccermom, AA, and others out on the line, you better back them up.===

    Yes. Yes, i am down with that “Crew”.


  165. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jan 9, 13 @ 7:04 am:

    Willy and word-thanks much. Just trying to do my part.

    I figure both minority caucuses will want Schnorf as an appointee-maybe they can draw “tees” to see who gets him.


  166. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 9, 13 @ 7:11 am:

    “I have a number of Tees in my hand, Mr. Cross, even or odd?”

    “Odd!”

    “Odd it is, you honor, Your Honor!”


  167. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Jan 9, 13 @ 7:53 am:

    Thank God word is here to be the final arbiter on what makes sense…


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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        * Verizon site CSS spills the beans on Motorola’s Droid Turbo
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        * iFixit tears down the new 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display
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        * Jason Voorhees Is Here to Terrorize Your Computer, Maybe Corrupt Some Word Files, Too
        * Here’s a Twitter Debate Worth Reading
        * Lessons from Doctor Who: “Scared Is a Super Power”
        * Tweet a Short Story for a Chance to Win a Copy of Margaret Atwood's 'Stone Mattress'
        * Your Home Insurance Might Cover the Receipt of Counterfeit Money
        * Google’s New Android Ads Make Fragmentation Cool (Videos)

        * Lost in Isolation: A White Sox fan abroad.
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        * The South Side Sox 2014-15 White Sox offseason plan project
        * Sox coaches get to know young players in Glendale
        * The longest White Sox home runs of 2014
        * Alexei Ramirez remains top shortstop at turning two


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        * Republicans Crow As Questions Swirl Surrounding.....
        * McLean still fighting for cultivation center..
        * Birth control coverage big issue on the ballot..
        * Illinois voters to face a rare 5 ballot questions..
        * Rauner Allegedly Hammers, Shakes Sun-Times Afte.....


        * Obama urges Quinn supporters to vote early
        * Report: Springfield HS often missing armed guards
        * Belleville, Champaign, Peoria papers back Rauner
        * Peoria woman charged in man's stabbing death
        * Homeless man found dead in wooded area in Elgin
        * Elderly couple, both 87, die in house explosion
        * Chicago Sun-Times endorses Rauner for governor
        * Driver in deadly ATV crash in Illinois arrested
        * Illinois voters to face a rare 5 ballot questions
        * George Lucas fills in details on Chicago museum

        * Chicago Sun-Times endorses Rauner for governor
        * Sun-Times, Belleville, Champaign, Peoria newspapers endorse Rauner for governor
        * Bill Clinton to address workers at pro-Quinn rally
        * Body camera use concerns Illinois police officers
        * Illinois unemployment rate falls again, to 6.6 percent
        * Panel to look at body cameras in eavesdropping law discussion
        * Phil Luciano: Company paying surrounding counties to support Logan Co. marijuana growing center
        * Parties donate big to area legislative races
        * Reports give snapshot of 2014 spending
        * Quinn, Rauner school funding counting differs

        * How this exec hopes to strike it rich in water, again
        * Two local businesses profit from a jump in skydiving
        * Emanuel, Preckwinkle clash over mandatory minimums
        * John Murray leaves Chicago Sports Commission. What's next?
        * Rauner, GOP matching Madigan's money in House races


        * TIME TO GET AHEAD OF EBOLA
        * Editorial: Bruce Rauner for governor
        * Editorial: Why we are back in the endorsement business
        * Bruce Rauner for governor
        * Chicago Police officers overwhelmingly ratify contract
        * Judge in Pakistan recommends former city comptroller be extradited
        * Why we are back  in the endorsement business


        * Obama urges Democrats to vote early for Quinn
        * Man seriously wounded in West Englewood shooting
        * Aunt of slain teen: 'Emanuel, please do something about the violence'
        * Prosecutors: Man repeatedly whipped son, 13, with cord
        * 1 dead in single-car crash in northwest suburban Bull Valley
        * West Side woman held in boyfriend's stabbing death
        * 1 dead, 7 hurt in shootings since Saturday afternoon
        * Man in custody after 4 women found dead in Gary, Hammond
        * Police release sketch of man who tried to lure 2 kids on Southwest Side
        * Cragin: Gunfire now common in what was a quiet neighborhood


        * Removing The Pension Protection Clause
        * Listen to State Week - October 17, 2014
        * The health problems facing rural and urban poor in Illinois
        * 'Deliverance' Actor Plays Folk Music In Springfield
        * Are Chicago's shorter yellow lights unsafe, or just unfair?
        * Delay In Fracking Regulations Spurs Lawsuit
        * Privacy Issues Complicate Body Cams For Illinois Police
        * Let's Talk Kids - "The Cost of Worry"
        * Scary Story: The Neighborhood By Millicent Bliesener
        * Shaking "out" Illinois Today at 10:16 a.m.


        * Our Opinion: Re-elect Durbin for another term in U.S. Senate
        * Bill Press: Do you trust your government on Ebola?
        * Quote of the Day: Monday, Oct. 20, 2014
        * Our Opinion: Rodney Davis has earned another term
        * Bernard Schoenburg: CWLP’S Burns considers run for city treasurer
        * Rep. Mike Smiddy: Improving care for those fighting breast cancer
        * Deckle McLean: Party imbalance falls along urban, rural lines
        * Statehouse Insider: Does he wish he hasn’t asked that?
        * Chicago Sun-Times endorses Rauner for governor
        * Bill Clinton to address workers at pro-Quinn rally


        * UI golf roundup: Women win in Indiana
        * Illini not back in win column yet
        * Monday Morning QB: CBs prepare for isolation
        * Better Business Bureau warns of Ebola scams
        * The Weirdness that is Ween
        * JALC presents Meet Me in Paris
        * Homeless man found dead in wooded area in Elgin
        * Peoria woman charged in man's stabbing death
        * Belleville, Champaign, Peoria papers back Rauner
        * Spooks come out for Moline Halloween parade


        * Man found dead at wooded McHenry County crash scene
        * With stop in Illinois, Obama in campaign mode
        * Trestman trying to figure out what to do next
        * Pope beatifies Paul VI at remarkable synod's end
        * U.N. says Iraq has executed 60 people this year

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Our Opinion: Re-elect Durbin for another t......
        * Senator: Government Shutdown Would `Make U......
        * Senator: Government Shutdown Would `Make U......
        * Senator: Government Shutdown Would `Make U......
        * Senator: Government Shutdown Would `Make U......

        * Kirk wants travel ban for 3 Ebola-affected......
        * St. Louis-area lawmakers call for travel b......

        * United, American Airlines Execs' Contributions To Emanuel Skyrocket
        * Republicans Crow As Questions Swirl Surrounding Sun-Times' Rauner Endorsement
        * Don’t you wish our schools owned a TV station?
        * #Waukegan Strong Twitter storm. Monday from 7-9 PM. Everyone in the U.S. who reads this blog.
        * Dear Online Essay Writers: What to Do to Make the Best Online Writing
        * Never Fret! University Ideas And Methods To Aid
        * The "streak" era - how do you know you got the job?
        * The latest on Illinois’ Senate Bill 16. It’s a bill that will slice a very tiny cupcake of state school funding into different sizes.
        * Sunday reads.
        * Imaginary Numbers


        * Rauner Sweeping Endorsements Across Illinois
        * Belleville News-Democrat Endorses Rauner
        * Champaign News-Gazette Endorses Rauner
        * Peoria Journal Star Endorses Rauner
        * Chicago Sun-Times Endorses Rauner




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