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.


* Judge rules state can close Murray Center
* Griffin talks about what he's up to here
* NFIB "will lead the fight" against Rauner service tax
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Political events calendar
* A silly Koch poke
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* Appellate court approves expedited term limits hearings
* What do they do now?
* Today's oppo dump
* 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

          
        * How can Apple capitalize on Google’s Android Wear fumble?
        * Wacom Launches Bamboo Paper On Android, Windows 8 And Kindle Fire
        * Xiaomi introduces Mi 4 Android and incredibly affordable Mi Band wearable
        * Here’s what the HTC One E8 camera can do
        * Emberlight Turns Any Dimmable Bulb Into A “Smart” Light You Control With Your Phone
        * Dating app Wyldfire tries to avoid creeps by letting women take the lead
        * Buy Last-Minute Broadway Tickets With TodayTix

        * Be Careful What You Kickstart: This Game Lost Half a Million Dollars
        * Learn the Basics of Color Theory to Know What Looks Good
        * Deals: Cheaper Action Cams, Wireless Grill Thermometer, MacBook Airs
        * Infographic: A closer look at Facebook’s U.S. demographics
        * Apple's 'iTime' Patent Hints at Possible iWatch Features
        * ​Compose Emails and Search Your Gmail Inbox From Chrome's Address Bar
        * Q2: Facebook remains dominant in social logins, gains in travel and hospitality

        * Alejandro De Aza showing value as trade deadline nears
        * Sale stays sharp after break in win over Royals
        * Flowers' foul ball confirmed by umpires' review
        * Carroll eyeing redemption in rematch with KC
        * White Sox 3, Royals 1: Chris Sale gets what he needs
        * Sale stymies Royals to pick up ninth victory
        * Flowers' foul ball confirmed by umpires' review


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

        Archives
        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


        * Quinn Signs $1B Plan for Road Repair in Illinoi.....
        * Quinn signs law empowering County Board to remo.....
        * New Law Aims To Help Ex-Offenders Find Jobs - M.....
        * Illinois ranks low in statehouse reporters per .....
        * It's Uber's black service, which makes use of p.....
        * Free some older, nonviolent, longtime prisoners.....
        * Taxi Cab Commission to Consider Allowing Uber's.....
        * Illinois Increases Scope of Medical Marijuana L.....
        * Dey: Controversy over Illinois' ban on executio.....


        * 170-foot ketchup bottle for sale in Illinois
        * Quinn signs $1B plan for road repair in Illinois
        * Driver charged in Will County crash that killed 4
        * Teen's body found in northern Illinois lake
        * State warns against crossing closed bridge
        * Fire closes Illinois state building in Springfield
        * USDA: Illinois corn, soybean crops faring well
        * Report: More Illinois children living in poverty
        * Illinois garbage truck driver hit by train
        * Authorities identify man who drowned in Fox River

        * Quinn signs bill establishing new rules for grants
        * Quinn signs $1B plan for road repair in Illinois
        * Quinn releases roughly 2,000 emails in anti-violence program probe
        * Howlett Building closed Tuesday after small fire
        * Highway in Jacksonville to be dedicated to fallen soldier
        * Rauner continues push for Illinois term limits
        * Judge: Illinois can close developmental center
        * Illinois prisons overtime costs top $60M again
        * Quinn anti-violence spending didn’t pull big votes
        * Quinn, Rauner set up big-money race for governor

        * FAA bans U.S. airline flights to Tel Aviv for 24 hours
        * Which company has the best 401(k)?
        * Court victory gives FutureGen a green light; ComEd challenge rejected
        * Here are three new businesses that start with design
        * Federal court delivers serious setback to Obama health care law


        * Chicago State official sues UIC, claims it violated privacy law by discussing plagiarism claim
        * CPS expands math, sports mentoring program for troubled teens
        * CPS expands math, sports mentoring program aimed at troubled teens
        * ‘I’ll miss how she used to dance and sing,’ slain girl’s cousin says
        * Rauner, Quinn camps trade barbs on budget proposals
        * Taxi group unveils plan to boost fares, fees to help drivers’ plight
        * 11-year-old girl among five dead in crashes on I-55; semi driver charged
        * Driver charged in I-55 crashes that left 5 dead, 5 hurt in Will County
        * 1 dead, 6 injured in shootings across city
        * 5 dead, 5 hurt in 2 crashes on I-55 near Channahon: state police


        * Police: 4 men invade Oswego home, steal car
        * Police: 1 dead after Skokie gang-related shooting
        * Teen who drowned in Lake County identified
        * Council closer to complying with do-not-hire list
        * Council closer to complying with do-not-hire list
        * Emanuel won't take questions on red light ticket spikes
        * Emanuel won't take questions on red light ticket spikes
        * Postal union workers to protest at Staples in Loop
        * Tuesday could be hottest day of summer
        * 1 dead, 7 injured in city shootings


        * WUIS Archive: Alan Dixon Was Gracious In Defeat
        * Trucker Questions: Are Police Above Illinois' Traffic Laws?
        * Fire Closes State Building Today
        * Billboards demand respect for transgender women
        * State Fire Marshal: No Illegal Fireworks This Fourth
        * Seven Months And Two Storms Later, Executive Mansion Gets Mini-Fix
        * Tourism In Illinois Sets New Record
        * Illinois Sees Growth In Tax Revenue, But It Won't Last Long
        * Neighborhood value a challenge for housing recovery
        * Series Part 3: Death In Illinois Prisons


        * Quinn signs $1B plan for road repair in Illinois
        * Howlett Building closed Tuesday after small fire
        * Douglas Mayol: Shops are great, but downtown needs shoppers
        * Catherine Rampell: Big money? Big deal
        * Judge: Illinois can close developmental center
        * Rauner continues push for Illinois term limits
        * Quinn anti-violence spending didn’t pull big votes
        * Quinn to OK marijuana use for children with epilepsy
        * Our Opinion: Give parklets a shot in Springfield
        * Andy Shaw: Open meetings violators get well-deserved shock


        * Fire closes Illinois state building in Springfield
        * Police search for Belleville shooting suspect as neighbors push for crackdown on crime
        * Urbana man sentenced to prison for role in carjacking
        * Carle issues statement
        * UPDATED: Illinois 49 reopened after bean truck mishap
        * Man who admitted rural Philo burglary gets 9 years
        * Red, White & Boom! fireworks display rescheduled for Labor Day
        * RAGBRAI rider dies in northern Iowa
        * Granite City school collects 18,000 drink pouches for recycling program
        * Former Illini offensive lineman passes away


        * Northwest suburban police blotter
        * Naperville Municipal Band to perform in Texas
        * Palatine man accused of punching 26-year-old during late-night brawl
        * Hot weather today could lead to dangerous storms this evening
        * Lost leg inspires Arlington Hts. woman to run

        * Rep. Roskam: IRS Budget Cuts Best Way to C...
        * Roskam: Federal money could push Kerr-McGe...
        * ASK PETER: Building a 21st Century Workfor...
        * Roskam: Whip race 'was a regional issue' -...
        * Schock tapped for Scalise whip team - Chic...
        * US Rep. Roskam could be out of House leade...
        * Aaron Schock victory over Peter Roskam vau...
        * Roskam down, Schock up: House whip takeawa...
        * Shimkus faces opposition in November elect...
        * Rep. Roskam: IRS Budget Cuts Best Way to C...

        * County board backs high-speed rail stop...
        * Full-out attack on First Amendment launched...
        * Full-out attack on First Amendment launched...
        * Full-out attack on First Amendment launched...
        * Corinthian Colleges Reported to Be Activel......

        * Rep. David Jolly Becomes Latest Republican......
        * Republican Rep. David Jolly (Fla.) announc......

        * Chicago politics. Magical thinking, perfect storms and bean bag.
        * Rahm. Meet meet Newark’s new Mayor Ras Baraka. Money wasn’t enough to beat him.
        * Chicago red light camera controversy re-ignites citizen outrage
        * Schimpf accuses AG Madigan of loyalty to family over Constitution
        * Morning Minute: Mortgage rates move back down this week
        * You could win big in the Game On Giveaway!
        * Don’t miss what Gustafson brings to the IAR Fall Conference & Expo
        * Call me Dr. Klonsky, if you please.
        * The phony CPS doctor, Timothy P. Carter has some explaining to do.
        * Illinois ranks low in statehouse reporters per capita


        * Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Strengthen Ethics Provisions in County Government - Law Helps Increase Accountability for Public Officials in Illinois’ Collar Counties
        * Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Help Ease Pain for Adults and Children with Seizures - New Law Adds Seizures to List of Debilitating Medical Conditions Under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act
        * Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Help Ensure Fair Hiring Practices Across Illinois - New Law Prevents Criminal Background Checks Until After an Applicant is Deemed Qualified for a Job
        * Governor Quinn Unveils Mandela Road in Chicago - Portion of Cicero Avenue Now Named for Late World Leader
        * Grayslake Man Honored as Illinois Veteran of the Month




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