SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Sun-Times sees optimism, Durkin says wait

Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013

* The Sun-Times editorializes on pension reform

Both scenarios being batted around by the state’s four legislative leaders and a 10-member pension committee rely on cutting retirement benefits, mostly by reducing annual cost-of-living increases for retired teachers, state workers, legislators and university employees.

The Republicans are right to push for more than $138 billion, to go for the greatest savings possible. This is the Legislature’s one chance to get this right. But push too hard and retirees are hurt unnecessarily and the final result will never pass.

The compromising begins with Senate President John Cullerton, who last week officially became one of the biggest impediments to getting a deal done. Cullerton said he embraced the $138 billion plan but he also made clear that he thinks pension reform is basically a waste of time. Cullerton said the state’s $100 billion unfunded pension liability wasn’t a “crisis” after all and suggested that Illinois could manage just fine without pension cost-cutting. That’s called talking out of both sides of your mouth.

But this week Cullerton is willing to play ball. He says he’s game for going higher than $138 billion — which is essential because that’s what the other three legislative leaders, including House Speaker Michael Madigan, want. Cullerton’s spokeswoman told us that “$138 billion seems to be the baseline” and “he’s looking for some fair way to get it higher.”

Getting from a baseline to a new, agreed plan is a delicate balancing act. But when we talk to lawmakers close to the negotiations we sense something almost unheard of in politics: optimism.

I didn’t hear a lot of optimism yesterday when I made a quick round of calls. But if the four leaders are committed to going higher than $138 billion, that could be a reason for some hope.

* Then again, maybe not

“Next week, we got three days and I don’t anticipate yet again that much being accomplished,” said State Rep. Jim Durkin, minority leader. […]

Leader Durkin expects Quinn to miss several more paychecks.

“We can come back sometime before the first of the year or come back at the beginning of the year. I want to make sure we do it once, we do it right,” said Durkin.

What’s most interesting here is that Durkin appears willing to take the fall if nothing happens next week.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


34 Comments
  1. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:28 am:

    They say they “want” it, but will they vote for it when the day comes?

    We’ve seen that play before.


  2. - Downstater - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:38 am:

    Cullerton and the Democrats just don’t get it. Spend. Spend. Spend. Tax. Tax. Tax. That is all they know and do.


  3. - Enough already! - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:42 am:

    How about a common sense proposal aimed at the politically connected? If you earn a platinum pension, you do not receive any pension benefits until you actually retire — we have hogs being paid great pensions while working full-time jobs and accumulating credits for a second pension. Additionally, put an end to the pensioners who work a second position for one day or two weeks and get an immediate boost in pension due to their minimal work in a higher paid position.

    STOP LETTING POLS GAME THE SYSTEM.


  4. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:42 am:

    === Leader Durkin expects Quinn to miss several more paychecks ===

    Well, it doesn’t appear that the Governor is missing any paychecks. Maybe this is why he still isn’t engaged in the process:

    http://ledger.illinoiscomptroller.com/ledger/?LinkServID=FE957D06-07CA-A3B3-6477FA2870A31632&Issue_Year=2013&EmpId=&Agency=&Last_Name=&Position=GOVERNOR&BegRange=&EndRange=&StartRec=1&EndRec=20&GroupBy=Agency


  5. - Raising Kane - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:45 am:

    Anonymous, because his salary wasn’t vetoed, he still gets paid but he has switched his salary from direct deposit to a paper check and those are still still sitting in the Comptroller’s office waiting to be picked up. So, I believe he has 4 checks sitting over there.


  6. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:47 am:

    Pension “reform” became a “crisis” in some minds only when the state became fiscally responsible and started making full contributions.

    The Sun-Times is getting excited a little prematurely. The state and federal Constitutions will be hard to overcome by the plans under consideration.

    Years later, after court, back to square one.


  7. - anon - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:57 am:

    downstater..not sure what part of downstate you are from but “Spend. Spend. Spend. Tax. Tax. Tax” has been a downstate success story–we spend it in downstate and we tax chicagoans..


  8. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:58 am:

    Raising Kane,

    Thanks for the clarification.


  9. - Bill White - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 12:26 pm:

    I believe the General Assembly should wait until those two IL Supreme Court decisions are announced, namely the decision regarding changes or reductions to retiree health care and the Governor’s line item veto case.

    The language of the eventual pension bill should be drafted to best conform with the language of those two decisions.

    Minority leader Durkin is spot on, here: “I want to make sure we do it once, we do it right.”


  10. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 12:27 pm:

    lol, Anonymous 11:42 and 11:58, you really have to start paying more attention. Especially if you’re an R trying to make a point.


  11. - Ray del Camino - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 12:35 pm:

    What my fellow “downstater” appears not to understand is that Illinois taxes its citizens less than surrounding states do (easy to compare income tax rates), and that we spend less on state government operations than most states do–even red states. Just repeating “Democrats tax and spend” ’cause it sounds right does not advance the argument.


  12. - foster brooks - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 12:41 pm:

    I want to see a picture of those checks in the comptrollers office.


  13. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 12:46 pm:

    Isn’t January when the cola for the calendar year kicks in for state retirees. What’s up with that?
    Pass a bill before the cola and make it effective before the increased checks go out? Make it retroactive and take back the money? Start the year out with the cola then cut the checks later in the year. None of these sound too appetizing. These are, for the most part, low to middle-middle class pensioners we are talking about. I sure hope they are paying attention because however unconstitutional the final product may be, there is no guarantee of a stay. And because an election year (we’re already in it, really) is when citizens have the greatest chance of being heard by elected politicians.


  14. - reformer - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 12:46 pm:

    == Pension “reform” became a “crisis” in some minds only when the state became fiscally responsible and started making full contributions. ==

    Astute observation that summarizes the issue well in one sentence.

    Ray: I’m afraid it doesn’t do any good to offer the inconvenient truth to those who firmly believe IL is a big spending, big taxing state. I’ve never encountered one Republican who, when you prove IL ranks 50th in number of state employees per capita, admits he might have his facts a little wrong.


  15. - Norseman - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 12:57 pm:

    My money is on the proposition that nothing gets done next week.


  16. - Rusty618 - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 1:01 pm:

    If the legislators keep insisting that the only way to “save” money is to reduce pension benefits, they need to keep working. Other states have tried this and lost in court. It is time to look in another direction to “save” money.


  17. - a drop in - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 1:04 pm:

    —I want to see a picture of those checks in the comptrollers office. —

    and I want to see the shoebox they are in.


  18. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 1:09 pm:

    Can the Illinois Supreme Court issue a kind of a “Friend of the GA” FYI on whether the current bills under consideration appear to violate the Pension Protection Clause of the Illinois Constitution? Might save the state some time in arriving at a Constitutional solution to the DEBT problem that was masked by pension borrowing for so long. I’m thinking something along the lines of “You guys are barking up the wrong tree with the currently proposed pension modifications unless we’re missing something here…Save yourself and the state some grief and a huge waste of time, and fix the state’s structural deficit. Ok? Thanks. Bye.” Judges?


  19. - Bill White - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 1:11 pm:

    Q: Can the Illinois Supreme Court issue a kind of a “Friend of the GA” FYI

    A: No they cannot do that. At least IMHO

    Which is why those two pending cases are so very important to all of this.


  20. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 1:14 pm:

    Oh well Bill, I guess we’ll have to do it the hard way then…


  21. - reformer - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 1:15 pm:

    The AG can issue opinions, however.


  22. - Earl Shumaker - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 1:22 pm:

    Wordslinger, you are absolutely correct when you wrote, pension “reform” became a “crisis” in some minds only when the state became fiscally responsible and started making full contributions.

    I do hope that you are correct when you say that The state and federal Constitutions will be hard to overcome by the plans under consideration.

    I am so concerned about the amount of corruption we have in this state and Chicago. I just hope the Supreme Court judges have the integrity and backbone to slap these legislators down for wanting to trash the US and Illinois Constitutions


  23. - kimocat - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 1:25 pm:

    I just got a robo-call from Henry Bayer. There must at least be some fear that a bill will be brought up.


  24. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 1:26 pm:

    So can I, reformer. We’ve already got Maidar’s detailed opinion. What’s one more lawyer’s opinion going to do to sway the GA?


  25. - TCA - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 1:58 pm:

    [downstater..not sure what part of downstate you are from but “Spend. Spend. Spend. Tax. Tax. Tax” has been a downstate success story–we spend it in downstate and we tax chicagoans..]

    I beg to differ. I do not see any State efforts to attract business and industry anywhere south of I-80 much less south of I-64. Take a look at per-student spending….a huge disparity. The majority of the General Assembly and Statewide elected officers can see the Sears while they drink their morning coffee. That should tell you where all the money is going.


  26. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 2:03 pm:

    –The majority of the General Assembly and Statewide elected officers can see the Sears while they drink their morning coffee. That should tell you where all the money is going.–

    That’s a hilariously absurd statement on so many levels.

    I think we all should wean ourselves from the pipe dream of state government “attracting business and industry.” Those generally are nothing more than very expensive press releases for deals that were going to happen, anyway.

    When did that become the business of government, anyway?

    Provide an educated workforce, good schools and universities and superior infrastructure and you’re in business. The rest is just ego-tripping spin.


  27. - Nearly Normal - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 2:15 pm:

    “see the Sears”–Don’t you mean the Willis? Sears sold the building years ago and the Willis Group bought the naming rights.


  28. - Frank - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 2:49 pm:

    I agree with Rich’s observation tha Durkin seems willing to be the fall guy if no vote is taken next week…and that is a pretty interesting development. Maybe he’s throwing a bone to his downstaters. And maybe he senses that just like in the Spring with SB1, a majority of the HGOP caucus will vote against the “compromise” if it’s called during Veto Session. That’s probably not something he wants to have happen on his first big vote as leader and it won’t help him raise badly needed cash for next year.


  29. - RNUG - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 3:05 pm:

    -wordslinger- and -bill white- are dead on …

    -norseman- is probably right about no action, but if there is action, it sounds like Cullerton is now willing to sign on to a more unconstitutional bill in order to be sure the ISC knocks it down.


  30. - RNUG - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 3:08 pm:

    Earl Shumaker @ 1:22 pm:

    In order for the ISC to rule something like the bills under consideration constitutional, the ISC will have to ignore almost 30 years of precedent set by their own rulings


  31. - Charlie. - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 3:09 pm:

    Cassandra at 12:46. Thanks for pointing out about the low class pensioners. I always figured I must be one as I receive $1000.00 a month in pension. A fellow tried to push me off the sidewalk at the Post Office this a.m.. He must have thought I was low class trying to push me into the gutter. I sure could use that $30.00 a month raise in Jan. If I don`t get it maybe you could float a low classer a loan.


  32. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 4:42 pm:

    Charlie, maybe you should spend tomorrow writing to your legislators or even stop by the office. Because if any of these current proposals goes thru, and sticks, all state retirees will be slipping down quite a bit in the income rankings over time.


  33. - Charlie - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 4:56 pm:

    Cassandra: To be very honest with you I have written and talked till I`m blue in the face. I really believe the majority only care about staying in office by what ever means or which way the political winds are blowing.


  34. - kimocat - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 5:20 pm:

    RNUG — I would love to hope you are right about Cullerton.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Another network TV buy
* Davis ad responds to Callis ad
* Question of the day
* *** UPDATED x1 - Appears to be successfully rehabilitated *** The downward spiral rages on
* Town moving forward with plans to privatize fire department
* DCFS changes policy on "unsafe sleep deaths"
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Network TV ad buys
* *** UPDATED x1 - Great bio, but dumped *** Rauner campaign employed embattled security firm
* Finally, some good news
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Thursday cable TV buys
* A couple of reasonable ideas
* *** UPDATED x1 - Schilling response *** Bustos launches new ad highlighting constituent service
* Vampire capitalism or unlocking value?
* RI sheriff resigns after "attempted cyberstalking"
* Dodging and weaving and proclaiming his innocence
* *** UPDATED x1 - Video *** Despite sharp disagreements, NFIB backs Rauner
* Kirk raising money on "rumors" of Michelle Obama candidacy
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition, crosstabs and new TV ads
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Nokia 130: now available in a store near you
        * OPPO N3 leaked photos reveal an even stranger camera
        * New Motorola products for pre-order starting September 16
        * India’s Spice set to unveil first Android One phone
        * Want lithium-ion batteries to last? Slow charging may not be the answer
        * Our 5 favourite new Windows Phone apps of the week
        * Smartwatches: smart first or watch first?

        * 4 Ways to Use Social Media in Public Relations
        * Eclipse Magnifier Workbench Lamp
        * Google launches Android One phones with Micromax, Karbonn and Spice Mobiles in India for Rs. 6,399
        * First Android One Smartphones Announced In India
        * New Vizzywig 4K Ultra HD iOS App Priced At $1,000 In iTunes App Store
        * Oppo N3 Press Photos Leaked
        * Shuttle XH81 Core i7 Haswell Mini PCs Unveiled (video)

        * Twins 6, White Sox 4: Sweep hopes evaporate early
        * Danks looks to finish rough second half on high note vs. Royals
        * Abreu ties White Sox rookie home run record
        * White Sox fall to Twins, all but out of playoff race
        * Abreu ties White Sox rookie home run record in loss
        * Kazanas honored with Roland Hemond Award
        * White Sox lose challenge at first base


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * The Week That Was: Unseasonable Cold, Mayor’s R.....
        * Rauner's schools plan raises eyebrows..
        * Chicago minimum wage change in order for October..
        * Governor declares Rail Safety Week Sept. 14-20..
        * Emirates Touches Down in Chicago Airline commen.....


        * Highland teachers reject contract offer
        * Closer Look: Rauner's schools plan raises eyebrows
        * Voter rolls issues reported in southwest Illinois
        * 2 Chicago area schools named for Obama family
        * Decatur police chief retires after 28 years
        * International students help boost SIU enrollment
        * Congressional candidate's residency under scrutiny
        * Cop and suspect injured in shooting, incident
        * Leaders expected at Mexican Independence parade
        * CPS to lay off 476 custodians by month's end

        * Rauner’s education plan raises eyebrows
        * Governor’s race a tale of business climates
        * Medical marijuana law sponsor defends secret bids
        * Fired IDOT workers sue, say they are ‘political cover’ for Quinn
        * Illinois still employs 173 'improper' state hires
        * Fired IDOT workers sue, say they are 'political cover' for Quinn
        * State lawmakers propose surcharge to pay for police body cameras
        * Surcharge sought for police cameras
        * Illinois lawmakers want new surcharge to pay for police body cameras
        * Rauner: Quinn should order no contact with former chief of staff

        * Three real estate companies, but only one bound for an IPO
        * The upstart that hopes to beat Morningstar — again
        * State steps up litigation to take land for Peotone airport
        * State vacancies increase wait for professional licenses
        * Why is it so hard to be a boutique owner in Chicago?


        * It shouldn’t take a government photo ID to exercise one’s right to vote
        * T. rex Sue — still our queen
        * 94-year-old jailhouse lawyer reflects on life of crime
        * No bail for teen accused of sexually assaulting CSU student
        * Mexican Independence Day parade attracts plenty of pols
        * Cops shoot driver who rammed into police car, injured officer
        * No-homework policy improves home life for younger students at one CPS school
        * Candid camera time with Rahm on the Brown Line
        * 2 city sites to be cut from Obama library list; U. of C. bid lives
        * Despite tough talk, curfew citations plummet under Emanuel’s watch


        * Woman slain, boy shot during Sunday attacks
        * Rahm's Readers exceed goal: 2.7 million books read
        * Autopsy: Man, 20, killed in Sauk Village
        * 1 dead, several injured on South, West sides
        * Prosecutors: Chicago man sexually assaulted 2 children ages 5, 6
        * No bail for teen charged in Roseland sex assault
        * Body found in Sherman Park Lagoon
        * Cops: Man dies after shooting at River Oaks mall
        * Nearly 480 janitors who work in CPS schools to be laid off
        * Car crashes through DuPage 7-Eleven, man charged


        * Fired IDOT Workers Sue Quinn Administration
        * Inspector's Report Reveals Clout Hiring At IDOT
        * Listen to State Week - September 12, 2014
        * American Show: The Best Music You've Never Heard
        * The Best Music You've Never Heard
        * Officer's death highlights need for trauma center in Northwest Indiana
        * Lawsuit: Man beaten in Cook County jail more than 10 hours after judge ordered his release
        * Candid Camera For Cops
        * Plan Would Give Police Cameras, Raise Fines
        * Ousted commander leaves trail of costly lawsuits


        * Rauner’s education plan raises eyebrows
        * Our Opinion: It’s time to get serious about sewers in Springfield
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Be careful when they talk of property taxes
        * Charles Krauthammer: Obama’s uncertain trumpet, again
        * Governor’s race a tale of business climates
        * Statehouse Insider: Christie should feel at home in Illinois
        * Susan Koch: Examples of excellence showcased in honors program
        * Medical marijuana law sponsor defends secret bids
        * Clarissa Williams: Friend-in-Deed campaign kicks off for 2014
        * Fired IDOT workers sue, say they are ‘political cover’ for Quinn


        * Business Calendar
        * People in Business
        * Deputy Postmaster General says postal service strives to delivery
        * Belleville restaurant has new owner
        * Game makes meal time family time
        * Douglas-Hart Nature Center takes part in monarch tagging
        * McDonald’s rolling out free coffee event
        * City to fine-tune dock development
        * Millennial nation
        * Police reports


        * Miss America 2015
        * Bears turn things around in a hurry
        * Injuries to key Bears keep piling up
        * Imrem: Just like that, all is well for Bears
        * Packers beat Jets 31-24

        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Statement in...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Statement on...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Statement on...
        * Rep. Jan Schakowsky discounts threat from ...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Statement on...
        * Schakowsky backs striking workers at Juno ...
        * U.S. Rep. Schakowsky Gearing Up For Novemb...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky: On This Lab...

        * Candidates Attend Democrat Fry...
        * Candidates Attend Democrat Fry...
        * Candidates Attend Democrat Fry...
        * Candidates Attend Democrat Fry...
        * Candidates Attend Democrat Fry...

        * Sen. Kirk statement on ISIS's Killing of t......
        * Rumors: Michelle Obama to Run for Senate i......

        * Outlaw Rahm must go. He tells retirees to drop dead.
        * Any public employee who votes for Rahm Emanuel is cutting their own throat.
        * Rahm announces his Give-Every-Classroom-A-Pet program.
        * Hinsdale’s Richard Skoda will do anything except bargain a contract. The Facebook Axe redux.
        * Glen Brown. Beware of shifting the normal cost of pensions to the local school districts.
        * Sunday reads.
        * People have the power.
        * Mother Jones. Some day the workers will take possession of your city hall. And when we do, no child will be sacrificed on the altar of profit.
        * Hinsdale District 86. No scabs for Skoda.
        * Ex-Redflex CEO Pleads Not Guilty In Bribery Scandal


        * Sun-Times Report: In Illegal Hiring Scandal, Pat Quinn Protects “Kingmaker” Kin
        * Governor Quinn Announces Clean Water Investments in Stickney and Burbank - Projects Will Modernize Infrastructure, Combat Damaging Floods and Create Jobs
        * Governor Quinn Honors “Latinos Building Illinois” - Thompson Center Exhibit Showcases Trailblazers For Latino Heritage Month
        * Rauner Campaign Response to Quinn IDOT Confession
        * Rauner: Quinn refuses to cooperate with investigations




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller