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.


* Rauner admin won't deny plan to use National Guard in strike
* Question of the day
* A wedge that might work
* Because... Madigan
* This is what's known as "lip service"
* Reforms are having an impact
* De-escalation
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Rate Mark Kirk's new online ad
* The never-ending stalemate
* Weirdest. FOIA denial. Ever.
* Today's quotable
* Rauner admin claims it wants Teamsters-like bargain with AFSCME
* It's time for the top dog to act like it
* While I was away...
* 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

          
        * User guide of Sony Xperia C5 Ultra surfaced
        * OnePlus 2 retail plan, Galaxy S6 Edge+ marketing & more – Pocketnow Daily
        * Nextbit gears up to launch its own Android phone
        * Samsung ends rumors by sending out press invites for an event on August 13
        * Google Text-to-Speech app adds four more languages
        * Nextbit to build new smartphone with Android veterans
        * The OnePlus 2 of 2015 isn’t the flagship killer of 2016

        * Slumping LaRoche to sit out two games
        * Samardzija deflects uncertainty ahead of start
        * Podcast: Sweet Sweeping
        * No Middle Ground - A Boston Red Sox preview
        * White Sox Minor League Update: July 26-Aug. 1
        * Rodon helps White Sox finish 4-game sweep
        * Limiting free passes key to White Sox run

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


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

        Archives
        July 2015
        June 2015
        May 2015
        April 2015
        March 2015
        February 2015
        January 2015
        December 2014
        November 2014
        October 2014
        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


        * Texas prosecutor names committee to review Sandra Bland case
        * Banks' estranged wife says he had dementia when signing will
        * Opening statements made in alleged officer killer's trial
        * Several dogs survive southern Illinois house explosion
        * Mitsubishi, UAW to work together on buyer for Illinois plant
        * Report: Illinois retirees contacted about working if strike
        * Illinois hosted 109.4M visitors in 2014, up 3.5 percent
        * Mitsubishi, UAW to work together on buyer for Illinois plant
        * Mussel survey must be done before Sylvan Island bridge fix
        * Podiatrist donates shoes to Fairdale tornado victims

        * New UIS Public Safety Building is another budget casualty
        * More Illinois residents feel pain as budget impasse drags on
        * ACLU pushes for change in 'right of conscience' law
        * Study finds Illinois in middle of pack when it comes to key ethics laws
        * Data show drop in Illinois prisoners but still overcrowded
        * Hundreds of NIU employees want to join state worker union
        * Debate over rising Illinois lawmakers' salaries ignites again
        * Illinois budget impasse may mean no free ACT tests
        * State retirees contacted about returning to work if AFSCME goes on strike
        * Rauner's borrowing from special funds could have effect on state finances

        * CPS credit ripped to junk again
        * CPS credit plummets to junk again
        * Sky-high costs prompt gas-main reboot by new Peoples Gas owner
        * Peoples Gas fires chief pipe-replacement contractor as cost soars past $8 billion
        * Fired! Peoples Gas sacks chief pipe-replacement contractor as cost soars


          * Another ratings agency downgrades CPS' debt to junk status
          * Setback for man suing over wrongful conviction in Lake Co. rape case
          * 2010 killing of Chicago cop detailed at trial; man claims self-defense
          * As jet noise talks wrapping up, O'Hare runway gets 2019 closure date
          * Wisconsin Assembly leader: State subsidy for new Bucks arena has votes to pass
          * Northwestern student dies in Houston car crash
          * Ernie Banks' estranged wife: He signed a will days after dementia diagnosis
          * Shooting death of woman at Hillside hotel ruled accidental
          * Aldermen to hold hearing on untested rape kits
          * Police search expands for missing woman, toddler


          * New UIS Public Safety Building is another budget casualty
          * More Illinois residents feel pain as budget impasse drags on
          * ACLU pushes for change in 'right of conscience' law
          * U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis: Public safety is everyone's responsibility
          * Study finds Illinois in middle of pack when it comes to key ethics laws
          * Data show drop in Illinois prisoners but still overcrowded
          * Hundreds of NIU employees want to join state worker union
          * Debate over rising Illinois lawmakers' salaries ignites again
          * Illinois budget impasse may mean no free ACT tests
          * Statehouse Insider: Cullerton goes from nice guy to villain in one day


          * News-Gazette Sports Page 07-27-15
          * Street closures listing
          * PODCAST: Jeannie Cisney 07-27-15
          * Martinez joining women's basketball staff
          * Search of car on I-57 leads to multiple charges
          * Heat advisory issued for Tuesday
          * Champaign County has most of state's mumps cases
          * 'Just the ticket': 4-star solution to nuclear Air Force ills
          * Obama chides 2016 candidates for 'ridiculous,' 'sad' remarks
          * Extra: Education & Involvement


          * Mike North video: Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2015 a strong one
          * Cubs release RHP Edwin Jackson
          * Tigers' Price faces trade rumors again
          * Harry Volkman 'seriously ill,' according to family
          * LeGere: Royal is worth watching

          * House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
          * Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
          * The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
          * Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
          * Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
          * CBD Oil, and politics
          * Simon considering state Senate bid
          * Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
          * Shutdown? State may not notice
          * Rep. Bob Dold

          * Durbin, Gutierrez Urge Cooperation To Expe......
          * Senator Durbin Statement on U.S.-Turkish A......

          * Rate Mark Kirk's new online ad - The Capit......

          * Thought Catalog: 5 Ways To Make Every Job A Stepping Stone
          * Chicago Aldermen Seek Answers About Unprocessed Rape Kits
          * Chicago Pension Overhaul Deemed Unconstitutional
          * Chicagoland Coalition Marks ADA's 25th Anniversary With New Initiatives
          * Report: Higher Ed Investments Key To Closing Racial Unemployment Gap In Illinois
          * Poll: Just 37 Percent Of Americans Say Race Relations In U.S. Are Good
          * Illinois Activists Protest Against State Budget Cuts, Coal Industry Subsidies
          * Effects of the Proposed TOD Expansion on Uptown
          * Andrzejewski: Why Does IL Attorney General Lisa Madigan Refuse To Prosecute Public Corruption?
          * Di Leo: Of Presidents and Presidencies, and Things Presidential


          * Time Running Out to Stop Legislator Pay Raise
          * Governor Announces Appointments
          * Governor Takes Bill Action
          * Governor Signs Historic Anti-BDS Law in Illinois
          * Governor’s Office Statement




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