* From a press release issued by Treasurer Dan Rutherford…
“I have taken due consideration over the long Thanksgiving weekend to evaluate the proposal for State Public Pension Reform. Having examined the information available, I do not support the current legislation. I do not believe it will withstand judicial review should it pass the Illinois General Assembly,” said State Treasurer Dan Rutherford.
“Strong beliefs are held in this debate, but fundamental to our rule of law is our Constitution. Our government’s obligation can be changed through a process involving adequate consideration to the employees. In my opinion, the legislation before us fails to address this relationship and offer adequate consideration in exchange for altering the pension benefits.”
“I look forward to working with the General Assembly and interested parties for a fair, Constitutional resolution to the biggest financial issue facing our state”, concluded Treasurer Rutherford.
Looks like Dillard may get a run for his money.
* Meanwhile, credit where credit is due. As we’ve already discussed, the richest man in Illinois Ken Griffin staunchly opposes the pension reform bill. Mr. Griffin is a major Bruce Rauner supporter.
Griffin’s independently wealthy wife Ann, however, is the force behind Reboot Illinois, and that site editorialized today for the pension bill…
What would you say about a state that increases its income tax intake by 92 percent over a five-year span, yet spends less on education during that same time?
Or a state that spends nearly 25 cents of every tax dollar it collects on pensions for its current and future retirees? The same state will send 30 cents of each tax dollar to its pension systems in five years.
A state that now owns the worst credit rating in the nation thanks to a pension system that has become a $100 billion long-term liability and, in the immediate term, becomes a bigger budget-devouring problem with each passing year.
We say it’s a state with a serious problem in both its basic finances and its priorities.
It’s Illinois, and this week Illinois lawmakers have the chance – after years of false starts – to reorder state government’s priorities while also ensuring that pension systems for teachers and other public employees don’t go broke in a few decades’ time.
What we’ve seen so far of the pension bill expected to be offered lawmakers on Tuesday looks like the surest bet to stopping the out-of-control pension debt that has grown to monstrous proportions in recent years.
The anticipated bill lives up to the prediction we’ve been making since rebootillinois.com first went live a little more than a year ago: Nobody is going to be happy with it.
That must’ve been an interesting Thanksgiving dinner.