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We Are One Illinois: “A majority of legislators defied their oaths of office”

Wednesday, Dec 4, 2013

* From a We Are One Illinois press release…

“This is no victory for Illinois, but a dark day for its citizens and public servants.

“Teachers, caregivers, police, and others stand to lose huge portions of their life savings because politicians chose to threaten their retirement security, rather than pass a much fairer, legal, negotiated solution in Senate Bill 2404.

“It’s bitterly ironic that, on the same day legislators used the state’s troubled finances to justify stealing the retirement savings of public servants, they approved millions of dollars in new tax giveaways for big corporations.

“A majority of legislators ignored and defied their oaths of office today—but Governor Pat Quinn doesn’t have to. He can stay true to his oath and the legal promise made to public employees and retirees by vetoing this unfair, unconstitutional bill. If he doesn’t, our union coalition will have no choice but to seek to uphold the Illinois Constitution and protect workers’ life savings through legal action.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


132 Comments
  1. - Downstater - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 9:14 am:

    The pension law changes over the years lead to unsustainable levels of unfunded liabilities and no option, but to adjust the pension benefits. The vast majority of those receiving pension will be just fine.


  2. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 9:24 am:

    I posted this on the Rauner stream but really think it belongs here, if anywhere.

    === I recall that a number of years some school districts sued the state because it failed to fund the schools to the constitutionally required 50% level but they lost in the courts. I may be remembering this wrong so am actually inquiring. If true, it could be a sign of how the courts would view this particular issue, clear constitutional language notwithstanding ===


  3. - Ahoy! - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 9:24 am:

    Did the unions ever issue these press releases about defying the oath of office when the general assembly passed budgets that were clearly not balanced to protect school teachers and state workers from being laid off?

    I understand the angry, but I find the hypocrisy of all this from the unions, the general assembly and the ultra rich (and their paid for soundboards) pretty fascinating.


  4. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 9:24 am:

    What else is there to say? It moves to the courts, like everyone knew any pension bill would.


  5. - Jaded - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 9:26 am:

    Wouldn’t it be awesome if Quinn vetoed the bill. I mean we would be able to hear Madigan and Cullerton’s heads explode two hundred miles away. C’mon Governor, after all, they cut you out of the negotiations. Show us what you are really made of and veto that bill.


  6. - Makandadawg - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 9:27 am:

    Only a few of the legislators made comment or responded to the charge that this will be determined unconstitutional. The know it is a real and serious problem with this legislation.


  7. - downstate commissioner - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 9:28 am:

    I REALLY agree with the third line-cut the throats of pensioners while bribing a wealthy business (which apparently doesn’t pay much income tax) to move to Chicago area so their high-priced executives have more social opportunities…
    (Note: this bill does not directly affect me-my pension will come from somewhere else) (other than the cost of the legal defense of this bill)


  8. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 9:31 am:

    Great to see them blowing off some steam, but we all know that’s as far as it will go.

    What are they going to do? Back Republicans? The “right to work” people?

    It is nice that they get to give their little speeches, but until the moderates take some control in the GOP, that’s all they can do. There is no alternative.


  9. - Dan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 9:36 am:

    Downstater, it is difficult to be rational and impartial when you have a dog in the race as I do. I collect a SURS pension and although the changes impact me adversely, I will do OK. But I have to agree generally with your comment. However, the new hires in the university system will have lousy pension plans whereas even with the new changes, SURS has provided me with what I consider to still be a good pension. Also thank goodness the changes do provide a modicum of protection via the AAI (cola) for those with smaller pensions.


  10. - Anon. - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 9:38 am:

    ==A majority of legislators ignored and defied their oaths of office today—but Governor Pat Quinn doesn’t have to.==

    I don’t think he can help himself.


  11. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 9:38 am:

    ==The vast majority of those receiving pension will be just fine. ==

    How exactly do you come up with that analysis? Any loss of money is not “just fine.”


  12. - Jack Handy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 9:41 am:

    I think those assuming this is unconstitutional are in for an eye opener. I think the courts will try to find any loophole possible so they do not have to overrule the will of the people.


  13. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 9:43 am:

    == I think the courts will try to find any loophole possible so they do not have to overrule the will of the people. ==

    That may be true, but the “will of the people” argument is bogus. The “will of the people” doesn’t override the Constitution. I personally have no idea how the SC might rule and I also am not convinced they will just throw out the entire bill. But the “will of the people” is not a valid argument.


  14. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 9:45 am:

    Lets see how many who voted yes still get the financial and other support of these unions come November and down the road, otherwise this is just rhetoric


  15. - Norseman - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 9:47 am:

    Skeeter, other than pay for the lawsuit, I agree with your general premise. We Are One has very few political options. With an impotent and still hostile GOP, there is no alternative for them to threaten the Dem supermajority legislature.


  16. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 9:47 am:

    I wrote this in another thread but it is appropriate here also:

    … The issue then and the issue in IFT(1975) was HOW the GA funded things. The ISC is very reluctant to order the GA to do anything on budgetary policy issues due to separation of powers questions.

    When it has came to pension clause diminishment cases outside of the funding question, the ISC has been pretty consistent in supporting the existing employee / retiree against any cuts.

    Most of what is in SB0001 is cuts; some to existing workers/retirees and some to new hires. Like -Old and In The Way-, I expect part of the bill will be upheld and severed from the unconstitutional parts.


  17. - train111 - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 9:53 am:

    My wife is a member of the teachers union and is in the TRS.
    Honestly, I do not believe she even knows that the legislature psassed a pension reform package yesterday.
    How many non politically active rank and file potential and actual pensioneers actually know what happenned?
    Heck, the details of the pension system are extremely difficult for me to follow and I consider myself a politically informed person.
    Do most union members know the difference between a COLA and the PSV and ‘pure add on payents? Confusing enough to me even looking at the TRS handout explaining the changes.

    Most, if not all the carping by various people on both sides of the aisle is nothing but insider political baseball, which simply passes by most who are uninformed, don’t care, or are more worried about how to pay for the holdays rather than pensions


  18. - Century Club - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 9:58 am:

    Skeeter - it’s not as simple as the idea that unions must stick with the Dems because Republicans are all out to get them. There are a number of R’s who voted against this, and a number of primaries in both parties that could provide a way to move the General Assembly towards (or away) from the unions.


  19. - Misterwhipple - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:00 am:

    Demoralized, “Any loss of money is not “just fine.”

    No one is losing money. The rate of future growth is being reduced. The panic message being spread by the unions is disingenuous. Social Security recipients have come off a period of a 0% COLA and now are looking at a little more than 1% COLA for 2014.

    State retirees will keep what they have AND see their pension grow in the future, albeit at a somewhat smaller rate. The scare tactics that they’ll next be seen begging in the street is just a strategic tactic, not reality.


  20. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:00 am:

    The pension fix should stand in court, if the powers that be have done their homework, and they have in excluding the judicial pension system. This will not be a small factor in the eventual adoption of the legislation passed yesterday. I always knew that public employees in the system would pay for the financial irresponsibility of the legislature.

    That being said, I feel fortunate that this issue has finally been addressed by the legislature, and could be a first step in bettering the abyssmal finances of our State. Things aren’t rosy folks and we must look ahead and avoid a meltdown.

    I saw my retirement income cut yesterday, but I have grown children that may choose to live in IL and raise a family here, and I will take it on the chin for their sake.


  21. - foster brooks - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:01 am:

    I’m with cullertons original statement that in order to give consideration you have to give them a choice. The last time they pullled that stunt was when you were given a choice to opt into social security or keep what you had. If someone is a year from retirement and gains $800 from the 1% give back but stands to lose 150k in retirement I don’t see that as much of a choice


  22. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:05 am:

    Haven’t been able to find out - when does the bill take effect? Immediately when signed? January 1? July 1?


  23. - Getting Their Dues - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:05 am:

    The unions are harvesting the crop they helped plant and grow. Even though you wouldn’t know it by all the finger pointing happening right now.

    Over the years, they have supported the candidates who chose to underfund the pension systems to spend more money on government operations. Whether you want to hear it or not, that’s mostly Democrats.

    In fact, the unions publicly supported the biggest pension raid of all time in SB 27 several years ago - as did Speaker Madigan - with Rod Blagojevich. I’ll say it again, they publicly supported the plan to raid over $2 billion from their members’ pension funds.

    Union members can keep calling legislators’ offices, and writing letters, but they might want to place a call to their union leadership, also. And they might want to look in the mirror.

    Actions have consequences.


  24. - SirLankselot - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:06 am:

    Another option for unions could be just to not support any Democratic candidates. They don’t have to support Republicans; don’t support Democrats in the 2014 election to show what happens when the party upsets a key demographic base.

    Century Club’s idea is much more plausible though.


  25. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:08 am:

    Do the unions have a chance of getting this stayed until the courts have ruled? Expedited to the SC? Some court order requiring the state to pay into an escrow account while the courts do their thing?


  26. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:09 am:

    Norseman

    Actually there are options. The first would be to put union support behind Rutherford in the GOP Governatorial primary. Union support for Rutherford elects him Governor. There is also the option of targeting vulnerable reps & senators for union backed third party challenges in the general election. Even if the backed candidate loses, if enough union voters vote against the incumbent, it could sway the election for the opponent. What I am hearing now from a lot of the union radicals is the belief there really is no difference between the Dems & the GOP. They are not opposed to a GOP candidate winning so a message can be sent. Even the socialists & Green Party backers are thinking this way. There are certainly quite a few seats where a third party challenge would be a waste of time. However, a union backed candidate in a tighter race could change what would have seemed a likely incumbent win.

    “Skeeter, other than pay for the lawsuit, I agree with your general premise. We Are One has very few political options. With an impotent and still hostile GOP, there is no alternative for them to threaten the Dem supermajority legislature.”


  27. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:11 am:

    losing money vs rate of future growth being reduced.

    Semantics.


  28. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:11 am:

    ==No one is losing money.==

    Um, yes they are. Money that was due to people is being taken away. I’m not sure how your math works but that is losing money.


  29. - Madison - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:11 am:

    Ty Fahner and Pat Quinn believe that pension costs equal to 20% of budget is an unacceptable level of funding. The 66% tax increase was supposed to remedy that, but almost all of it was spent elsewhere. Your fate now rests with presumably honest men at the top of the judicial pyramid. Our only hope is that the truth will catch up with the lie,that honesty will prevail in the end.


  30. - Really Illinois? - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:11 am:

    Demoralized,

    I lost money when the tax rate went from 3-5%. Why are you ok with me losing money as a taxpayer but it’s the end of the world when a pension is reduced or delayed?


  31. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:13 am:

    @Really Illinois?

    Did I say I was ok with you losing money? I can’t seem to find where I said that. People tend to get upset when money is taken from them. State pensioners are no different. Why is it ok for state workers to lose money? Want to field that question?


  32. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:13 am:

    Whipple, if you put 10 grand in the bank in a 5 year CD paying 5% per year and when it came due, they told you, “TImes are tough, rates are down, so we’re paying you 2 percent” what would you call that?

    “Reduced rate of future growth?” Yeah. Probably not.


  33. - Leatherneck - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:15 am:

    Sir Lankselot,

    Can you see any chance of the unions endorsing the Green Party instead–and perhaps another effort to get Rich Whitney or another Green to run for governor next year?


  34. - mythoughtis - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:16 am:

    Really Illinois –

    We lost that same percentage of money that you did when you did because we are also taxpayers. However, we are losing additional money because our invested money went to pay for services that benefited everyone else at our expense.


  35. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:16 am:

    SirLanks,
    If unions sit on their hands and refuse to back Dems, the result is wins for the “right to work” people.

    What’s worse — this pension reform, or right to work?

    If there were pro-union people in the GOP, they could be backed. But I don’t know of any. Dillard? Do people really think he’d be on the side of unions? Rutherford? Certainly Rauner and Brady would not, when it comes to House and Senate, I can’t think of any races where the Republican would be better than the Dem.

    So, like I noted above, it is all nice that they are yelling now, but let’s not take it too seriously.


  36. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:19 am:

    If they have a longrun view, the public employee unions really should consider donating only directly to legislators who voted no. No money to Madigan/StateDemParty, no money to Quinn this cycle.


  37. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:19 am:

    The pension fix should stand in court, if the powers that be have done their homework, and they have in excluding the judicial pension system.

    Sorry but I think that sentence sums up everything that is wrong with this state. Well since it doesn’t impact me, it is constitutionally ok.

    Does anyone want the court system to work that way? Also does anyone think a trailer bill for the judges isn’t forthcoming if this passes court muster?


  38. - Irish - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:20 am:

    Ahoy@ 9:24 am- I believe the Unions filed lawsuits to prevent the pension holidays but each time they were thrown out. I believe the position was they had no standing. Not sure of the reason.


  39. - Irish - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:20 am:

    Ahoy@ 9:24 am- I believe the Unions filed lawsuits to prevent the pension holidays but each time they were thrown out. I believe the position was they had no standing. Not sure of the reason.


  40. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:21 am:

    Downstater, in addition to your uninformed nonsense about how all affected will “be just fine” your premise that benefit changes drove the growth in the unfunded is mostly wrong. Go do some homework before you post here. Clue: Over half the unfunded growth was caused by (surprise) insufficient State contributions.


  41. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:23 am:

    Leatherneck

    “Sir Lankselot,

    For Governor I think the unions will endorse Rutherford. Some union people I know are Green Party backers already. My experience with Council 31 would indicate they would be inclined to back a candidate that has a real chance of winning. Rutherford fits that description. Some union voters will jump to the Green Party. Between defections to the GOP & Green Parties, the Democrats are really vulnerable in the Governor’s race. Quinn won in 10 because of union backing. He will not have that support in 14. See my post above for other options.

    Can you see any chance of the unions endorsing the Green Party instead–and perhaps another effort to get Rich Whitney or another Green to run for governor next year?”


  42. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:25 am:

    The real lesson here seems to be that by backing only Dems for so many years, the unions have cut off their options.

    They failed to support GOP moderates, and the result is that few are left.

    So now the Dems know that the GOP is not an option for unions, so the Dems don’t feel real pressure from the unions.

    In hindsight, they played the political game badly for a while, and now are dealing with results.

    If I was a union leader right now, I would be giving the speeches to let the members know I care, but the political focus would be on recruiting potential pro-union Republicans for 2016. Nothing much can be done in 2014, so take the long view. Make a difference then.


  43. - In the Middle - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:27 am:

    State workers entered into a contract with the State, and the State can’t uphold their end of the contract today. I don’t understand how that’s okay.

    I’m not a state worker, but I believe a contract is a contract end of story.


  44. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:27 am:

    I worked over 30 years for the state, several promotions (earned), and retired with a good pension. I will lose a good deal of $ over the next several years, but it needed to be done. I don’t give a damn that it was the &():)/& pols that put us in this spot. It was done, and no amount of whining will change that.. Now, all you retires, go ahead and blast me


  45. - Really Illinois? - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:32 am:

    Skeeter,

    Maybe the real lesson here is don’t allow a single party to control a state for 8 years with no opposition.


  46. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:34 am:

    Yeah, great job guys. You managed to pass a law that will cause a net loss of votes. No one is going to vote FOR you because of this. Many will vote AGAINST you because of this. Also, all this does is give you a year to spend the “savings” before you have to pay it back when it is overturned. You get one more fakely balanced budget, and you lose your seat. Brilliant. Would have been easier and far less dangerous to extend the “temporary” tax hike everyone assumed would be permanent. I thought Madigan knew how to get his members re-elected. It appears he no longer does. This game delays the tax extension by a year at most, and creates hostility with your largest monied supporters. Ridiculous… Unless… He really does have his votes on the ISC. In which case, see you in Federal Court.


  47. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:34 am:

    ===They failed to support GOP moderates===

    Oh, please. The IEA, especially, has been all-in for GOP moderates for decades. AFSCME and the IFT as well.


  48. - Dan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:34 am:

    Anonymous @1027, I retired with a SURS pension, and I won’t blast you. I agree with you.


  49. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:35 am:

    ==Unless . . . He really does have his votes on the ISC==

    Here come the conspiracy theories . . .


  50. - Sir Reel - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:38 am:

    I listened to a little of the debate yesterday and was discouraged that no representative mentioned the GA’s role in this mess. One went so far as to say they weren’t responsible.” While technically true what a cop out.


  51. - Working Man - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:38 am:

    - Anonymous -

    Can’t blast you. Your right, but they could have moved the COLA to a lower rate say 2%. I’m concerned with the raising the pension age for example prison guards. Do we really want someone 65 or older in that environment? Also by raising the retirement age higher there will be less openings for young people to find employment. I’ve heard some teachers say they’ll work until they drop. Great for employment. I’m 65 and have to work for the insurance because my wife is 5 years younger, she works but no insurance and we have $30K in medical bills plus $600 each month in presciptions. No options here. No complaints either, it is what is is.


  52. - Norseman - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:39 am:

    AFSCME Steward - I’ll be happy if you prove me wrong. Elect Rutherford and you’ll get my attention. Otherwise, you’re talking about very small victories that will not be a threat to the great and powerful Madigan.


  53. - Misterwhipple - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:41 am:

    mythoughtis–

    If you’re a retiree, you didn’t lose anything when the Illinois tax rate went up. For some inexplicable reason, Illinois doesn’t tax retirement benefits.

    No tax on the money when you put it away; no tax on the money when you take it out. Why? Because it’s always been that way, of course.


  54. - Sangamo Sam - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:42 am:

    Regardless of the outcome of any litigation, it may be a difficult year for state employees and as a result, any of us that use State services:

    1) Many senior (and knowledgeable) employees are likely to retire before this bill takes affect.
    2) This will reduce an already overburdened workforce, already the smallest per capita state workforce in the country.
    3) A likely large-scale retirement of the most senior and knowledgeable staff within just a few months time will be very difficult to overcome for most agencies, directly impacting State services.

    In addition the top agency staff may retire making an already difficult situation harder:

    1) Because of years of inequitable treatment by both the Blagojevich and Quinn administrations (lack of raises for years, forced unpaid furlough days, lower salaries than subordinates.) many of the senior staff positions unionized, including all of the PSAs
    2) Many agencies now have very, very few non-union supervisors (i.e. SPSAs). These are the folks in the most senior positions.
    3) If this this top agency staff retires it’ll be difficult to fill these non-union positions with the most qualified staff, impacting how well agencies perform needed services.

    The most egregious portions of this bill may get overturned next year, but it will take years to repair the damage that it has done.


  55. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:42 am:

    Emotionally exhausted after yesterday.

    Just want to lay my head down on Michelle Flaherty’s soft….

    No! No! Wrong in so many ways.

    Tip to myself: I’m not a constitutional lawyer, and shouldn’t pretend otherwise.


  56. - John Boch - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:45 am:

    Math will win. It does every time.

    And bankruptcy is ultimately a federal issue and the Illinois Constitution, contrary to the beliefs of many, may not even require changing the Illinois Constitution to make rather profound “adjustments” to pension “obligations”.

    And yes, Virginia, (hoist your glass because I’m going to use the “D” word): Detroits pensions were a major reason for that city’s bankruptcy.

    GOT A PENSION? BETTER PAY ATTENTION.
    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=226468

    John


  57. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:56 am:

    Norseman

    I am a pragmatist. I fully understand that the Dems will continue to control both bodies of the GA. However, if the majorites are weakened and the Governorship goes to the other side, the message will be sent. I am a moderate conservative, so I would probably have voted for Rutherford anyway. I see the anger amongst the more radical union people which will materialize into action. Madigan doesn’t believe the unions will turn to the GOP. I think that in some cases, especially the Governor’s race, they will.

    “AFSCME Steward - I’ll be happy if you prove me wrong. Elect Rutherford and you’ll get my attention. Otherwise, you’re talking about very small victories that will not be a threat to the great and powerful Madigan.”


  58. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:58 am:

    - Skeeter -,

    You need to pay attention better, or not speak in absolutes, as something that is never done.

    Unions have supported Republicans, its only in recent times has it been taboo to admit for the Unions and the Republicans. The Slytherins will take to task Republicans whjo overtly court, or get courted by Unions.

    Its a two-way street.

    It’s at least 11 AM, so I can begin taking my “City that shall not be named” …”shot”

    (pours into shot glass, closes eyes,…. slams empty shot glass down)


  59. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:02 am:

    Loop Lady @ 10:00 am:

    Read SB0001 with Eric Madiar’s pension analysis at hand … and then try to tell me the leaders did their homework. They didn’t …

    This bill hasn’t solved a thing. But it is a step forward in that it can now go to the court system to be resolved …


  60. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:04 am:

    I’m skimming to catch up, so apologies if someone else has said this.

    Because it passed with a simple majority, the bill will take effect next June.


  61. - Ready To Get Out (soon) - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:07 am:

    RNUG…enjoy your possibly last 3% AAI. When I join you next year I may never see that.

    Unless of course the ISC does the “right thing!”


  62. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:07 am:

    –Because it passed with a simple majority, the bill will take effect next June.–

    That being the case, what would be the earliest date that someone could have a beef and standing in court?

    Doesn’t seem like there would be any chance that this issue could be addressed in court before November.


  63. - Working Man - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:08 am:

    - RNUG -

    June or July 1st?


  64. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:13 am:

    John Boch

    The State of Illinois cannot file bankrupcy.

    “And bankruptcy is ultimately a federal issue and the Illinois Constitution, contrary to the beliefs of many, may not even require changing the Illinois Constitution to make rather profound “adjustments” to pension “obligations”.


  65. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:19 am:

    Ready To Get Out (soon) - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:07 am:

    Won’t get to. Most of it will be spent on my (supposed to be free) state health insurance going from 2% to 4% July 1 … unless there is a favorable Maag ruling.

    -Old- & I have a bet on Maag. We kind of agree but somewhat disagree on the exact outcome. I think we’ll get a ruling overturning Nardulli but, because of the limited issues on appeal, it will be structured in such a way that the case will drag on … something along the lines of the Marconi appellate decision.


  66. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:20 am:

    Oswego,

    You may well be right.

    Could you help me out though and identify those pro-union Republicans?

    I honestly did not think that any currently exist.


  67. - Norseman - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:24 am:

    === –Because it passed with a simple majority, the bill will take effect next June.–

    That being the case, what would be the earliest date that someone could have a beef and standing in court?

    Doesn’t seem like there would be any chance that this issue could be addressed in court before November. ===

    Back to the ripeness debate we had a few months ago. I don’t know enough about all aspects of the conference committee report to stake a hard and fast position, but it does beg the question as to whether a lawsuit will have to wait until June 1st. As we all SHOULD know, a court will only enjoin an action when there is harm. Is this the day the bill takes effect or even later - when the first reduced or non-COLA payment next year?

    Whatever the legalistic hurdles that must be jumped for a lawsuit, it’s actually in the best interest of all involved for the courts to take this case up sooner rather than later. Obviously, the Governor and General Assembly is depending on the money saved from this monstrosity. A late unfavorable ruling would create big havoc on a budget built with these alleged savings.

    Hopefully, there is some legal doctrine that I’m not familiar with that will enable quick action.


  68. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:25 am:

    ==No one is losing money.==

    Where is most of that $160 billion in savings coming from if not retirees’ future benefits?


  69. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:27 am:

    ===Could you help me out though and identify those pro-union Republicans? I honestly did not think that any currently exist. ===

    Dude, go back and look at the May 2nd House roll call for SB1 and then look at the Senate roll call for SB2404. There’s your list.

    Now move along.


  70. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:27 am:

    Jim Thompson, Jim Edgar, George Ryan …all had some Union support…

    Check with Operating Engineers, the Painters, Decorators, the Navy Pier Shop Unions, the Rosemont Union Locals …all two way streets, let alone the IEA and IFT, and AFSCME.

    You can’t be “Pure” in some circles and have the Operating Engineers, as one small example to choose, support a Republican and not have that Republican ridiculed, even if both the Union and the Candidate see this support as something that makes sense for the membership and the candidate.

    If I have a “search” key, you must have one too, so go ahead, give it a whirl. You can start there.


  71. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:28 am:

    Working Man - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:08 am:

    June 1, 2014 legally. Some of it will have an immediate effect. From a practical standpoint, since the next AAI after the bill’s effective date happens on January 1,2015 the AAI diminishment won’t occur until then.

    This doesn’t mention the super-majority exception to make an act effective immediately, but it pretty much sums up Illinois legislative rules:

    If a bill has no express effective date, then the Effective Date of Laws Act, 5 ILCS 75/, supplies the date. If the bill passed prior to June 1, it takes effect the following January 1. If it passed after May 31, it takes effect June 1 of the following year.


  72. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:55 am:

    OW

    Since I am greatly advanced in my age, and steadily declining as a result, but memory may be wrong here, but wasn’t it under Thompson that State workers got full legal standing to unionize. I believe that it was only an executive order prior to Thompson.

    “Jim Thompson, Jim Edgar, George Ryan …all had some Union support…”


  73. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:57 am:

    It will be interesting to watch the dance as the “savings” this legislation promises are then sliced up by the (various) power merchant(s) prior to any court disposition. Who can use it, what for and when? Illinois citizens want to know.


  74. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:03 pm:

    AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:55 am:

    Youe memory is still working fine. Yes, it was Big Jim in his second or third term that helped unionize most of the State workforce.


  75. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:04 pm:

    dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:57 am:

    Cynic that I am, I can easily answer the what for: re-election!


  76. - Jack Handy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:06 pm:

    Wouldn’t you think that if a union would ever go on strike for anything it would be this?


  77. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:07 pm:

    - AFSCME Steward -

    I think there is reference to that here.

    http://news.yahoo.com/illinois-unions-hold-strong-despite-193917331.html

    The ILGOP today, at times, does not resemble the “Old Guard” ideals that either a candidate gets saddles with as being out of step, or ignored as to seem “Pure” for the sake of purity.

    ===…May 2nd House roll call for SB1 and then look at the Senate roll call for SB2404.===

    The best place to start for the 2013 ILGOP’s venture into where the GA GOP stands.


  78. - lincolnlover - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:10 pm:

    Dan and Anonymous - I won’t blast you, but I will point out that the average SERS payout is less than $30,000. And while it appears that the compounding interest will remain for those of us under that income level, teachers and those who will receive $50,000plus in retirement are still better off.


  79. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:13 pm:

    Jack Handy

    By law the union cannot negotiate over pensions. Additionally, there is a contract in effect. If would be a violation of the contract for the union to advocate a strike.

    “Wouldn’t you think that if a union would ever go on strike for anything it would be this?”


  80. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:17 pm:

    AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:13 pm:

    Not that I’m necessarily advocating it, but there is nothing to prevent a “work to rule” slowdown …


  81. - Working Man - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:20 pm:

    - AFSCME Steward -

    So how about a “sick” day for all state workers, teachers, University staff, etc. That would get their attention. Have a rolling sick day, 20% of workers take one day off, another 20% the next and so on. It can be done!!


  82. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:23 pm:

    From the Yahoo news story linked by OW.

    When the GOP, lead by the Tea Party goofballs declared war on unions, that’s when a lot of us former GOP supporters walked away. For all of you that identify with the GOP, do you want the ILGOP to return to what it was in the 90’s ? A GOP Governor, majority in at least one house ? If so, heed the advice of Edgar & Thompson. Stop declaring war on your friends. There are many conservatives working in public service. If you want their support, quit attacking them and blaming them for everything. It is the Democrats that went crazy and spent like drunken sailors. It was the Democrats that supported skipping pension payments so they could spend the money elsewhere. I am proud to say that I am what you call a RINO. But like a lot of other RINOs, I started voting against you.

    “Historically, Illinois Republicans “have not gone to war against unions,” said former Gov. Jim Edgar, a Republican who enjoyed the support of some labor groups. “We had our differences, but I always felt union members were hard-working, and from a selfish point of view, they were better workers when government worked well.”


  83. - Now What? - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:23 pm:

    some analysis regarding legal challenges over pensions.

    http://www.obkcg.com/article.asp?a=595


  84. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:31 pm:

    - AFSCME Steward -,

    I want you back voting for My Party. I never wanted you to go. There are some in My Party who feel as I do, we just need to make it clear that the Reagan Rule, and the Thompson and Edgar dealings with Unions is good government and politics, and not taboo.

    There are many trying, honest.


  85. - Lester Holt's Mustache - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:38 pm:

    The filing deadline has passed, so it’s a moot point for this cycle, but the only way the unions would be able to force any change on this issue would be to do exactly what the national tea party groups have done - not only withhold money or endorsements, but to actively recruit and support primary opponents against Dem legislators who voted for this bill.
    I doubt they have the resources necessary, however, and at any rate that strategy might take years to have the desired effect. Also, look at what that has done to our US House of Representatives - do we really want a liberal version of that insane asylum here in Illinois?


  86. - Jack Handy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:38 pm:

    Anyone know what this tweet was about?

    https://twitter.com/davemckinney123/status/407954717164044288


  87. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:40 pm:

    Now What? - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:23 pm:

    pretty much a summary / re-write of the Eric Madiar analysis with a tinge of more current info and a bit of opinion thrown in. The writer also talked about people seeing what they want to see. He did that himself, conveniently ignoring the, I think, AZ ruling in favor of pension protection.


  88. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:42 pm:

    Jack Handy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:38 pm:

    That was covered in one of the other threads yesterday. Pretty much making sure the State tells a consistent story in their attempted defense of the pension changes.


  89. - RetiredDOC - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:45 pm:

    Anonymous you don’t really believe this bill will solve the problem do you? I watched yesterday while Madigan told lawmakers that he hoped the courts wouldn’t force them to make pension payments in the future. They have no intention of making the pension system fully funded ever. They just need more money to pay for pet projects to keep their rich contributors happy!


  90. - Now What? - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:45 pm:

    Agreed RNUG. It’s the opinionating and editorializing that I am now worried about, seeing that pension reform was struck without regard to rule of law. It’s also from Fall 2011, yet most of the spirit of SB1 is still relevant.


  91. - Dan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:52 pm:

    Lincoln lover, there is much in the legislation that I would do differently, but as we all know passing a new law is like making sausage. In an earlier comment, I did note that the AAI (cola) should protect the lower income pensions rather than the higher income pensions. And the new pension bill did so.


  92. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:57 pm:

    RNUG - so right, sir. I don’t see it as cynicism, tho. Just common sense.


  93. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:03 pm:

    Now What? - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:45 pm:

    We’re going to get to read a lot of it and, unfortunately, a lot of it will only be part of the story.


  94. - Anon. - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:18 pm:

    ==No one is losing money. The rate of future growth is being reduced.==

    So, when the GA decides to cut back on interest payable on outstanding bonds to bail us out of our next funding crisis, you’ll tell this to the bondholders?


  95. - Huggybunny - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:25 pm:

    @Dan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:52 pm:

    In an earlier comment, I did note that the AAI (cola) should protect the lower income pensions rather than the higher income pensions. And the new pension bill did so.

    Unless I don’t understand the new way of figuring the COLA, this only holds true for those who have worked lots of years. I only have 16 years of service, so will only get the compounded COLA twice before I reach the threshold, not much of a cost of living protection for me. Thank God I have my full Social Security payment after 34 years working in the private sector before starting with the State, or I’d be up that proverbial creek. Correct me if I have this wrong, I would really like to hear some good news.


  96. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:39 pm:

    Huggybunny - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:25 pm:

    Sounds like you get it.

    The “new” AAI affects anyone with only a few years of service or anyone with a pension significantly greater than the assumed average ($800/1,000 * years). The people who are least affected are the very low pension retiree and/or the retiree who maxed out their years (45 in the case of SERS). So it does partially protect the currently 80 or 90 year old retiree.

    For the fairly typical retiree who left after 30 or 35 years with a better than average pension, … well, Rich would censor that comment.


  97. - funny guy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:46 pm:

    Does anyone know whether a case can be brought in federal court instead of state court? I’m thinking of a count claiming a violation of the 5th Amendment—the taking of property without just compensation. By the way, I’m not voting for another Democrat–ever!


  98. - Huggybunny - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:54 pm:

    @RNUG

    Thanks for the reply, I think! LOL I was hoping I had it wrong, and someone would correct me and lift my spirits! If I was in my 30’s I’d be out the door so fast it wouldn’t even have time to slam shut, but can’t start a new career at almost 66. What a way to be treated after 47 years of working full time and never taking a dime of State assistance, even when I could have. Not having a pity party here, I’ll take care of myself, just hope some of the posters on here realize not every State employee has a 100,000 a year pension, mine will only be just over 12,000.


  99. - Dan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:59 pm:

    Huggybunny, my wife is retired from sers with 15 years service and 30+ Social Security years. Similar to your situation. She will also receive the 3% compounded cola for only a few years. In her many years in the private sector, she only had defined contribution plans (401k’s, etc.), and there are no income guarantees with these defined contribution plans. Thank goodness my wife will receive full social security with a cola. In any case, I don’t really have any other good news for you. But I am glad that you will have full social security.


  100. - DuPage - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 2:26 pm:

    One point, most everyone paid 1% of their pay specifically to fund the 3% AAI. It was proportional, if you made more, you paid more in. So, assume you paid in above the amount needed to fund the new lower AAI. and are already retired. Shouldn’t that excess you paid in then be counted as such (excess contribution) and refunded? Otherwise it is no longer proportional but more of a progressive rate where higher wage workers pay in more, and get less of it back.


  101. - Huggybunny - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 2:36 pm:

    @Dan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:59 pm:

    Thanks, glad your wife has SS as a safety net too. This will definitely change the lifestyles of some, I am concerned about those with no SS and very small pensions, guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I think the food pantries will see an increase in clients.


  102. - facts are stubborn things - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 3:00 pm:

    @RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:39 pm:

    @ Huggybunny - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 2:36 pm

    I want to share the following example again.

    The biggest losers in this pension bill are those with pensions that exceed the baseline amount in which the COLA will be computed from. The years of service multiplied by $1,000/$800. If you have a $65,000 pension with 25 years of service, you will see a cumulative diminishment of your COLA over a 25 year period in excess of $250,000. If you paid into SS then your base line COLA amount will be based on $20,000 instead of the entire $65,000 pension. Setting aside most of the bill is illegal; there was an attempt in many areas to be fair and thoughtful in the way in which things were phased in etc. The exception to this was the COLA adjustment for larger pensions. They needed to add a second element to the COLA baseline figure by adding a certain amount of dollars to that baseline figure for ever $1,000 your pension exceeds the formula amount. As it is now, a person with $20,000 pension may very well receive the exact same COLA as a person with a $100,000 pension.


  103. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 3:01 pm:

    If a “politically sensitive” ISC decides to uphold this law (that should be an interesting opinion to read) will that make it easier for politicians to go after the pensions again when the state, inevitably, gets into another financial pickle? If that is the case, maybe those defined contribution plans Rauner is always on about will look more attractive to younger employees. Yikes. I’ll be interested in seeing how many folks try to sign up for the little test program in the law.


  104. - facts are stubborn things - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 3:02 pm:

    Law suite does not have to waite for the June 2014 effective day….assuming that is when the legislation is scheduled to start. I have not heard a later date talked about.


  105. - facts are stubborn things - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 3:06 pm:

    healh care ruling next year may give us a very good idea of how the SC will rule on the pension reform.


  106. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 3:08 pm:

    DuPage

    I was discussing this very point with people today. I do not agree with Madigan that me stopping payment of that 1% constitutes consideration since I have been paying in for over 30 years. However, if they were to refund a proportionate amount, with interest, of the money paid in, taking into account the anticipated reduction of the cost of living decrease, that might very well be consideration. I am really quite perplexed at the idea that I paid thousands in, but by the time I retire will pay a few hundred less can be thought of as consideration.

    “One point, most everyone paid 1% of their pay specifically to fund the 3% AAI. It was proportional, if you made more, you paid more in. So, assume you paid in above the amount needed to fund the new lower AAI. and are already retired. Shouldn’t that excess you paid in then be counted as such (excess contribution) and refunded? Otherwise it is no longer proportional but more of a progressive rate where higher wage workers pay in more, and get less of it back.”


  107. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 3:29 pm:

    === Thanks, glad your wife has SS as a safety net too ===

    !!!???!!!???!!!???!!!???!!!???!!!???!!!???!!!???


  108. - Huggybunny - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 3:54 pm:

    @dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 3:29 pm:

    !!!???!!!???!!!???!!!???!!!???!!!???!!!???!!!???

    Are you questioning if SS will be there for long? I know, it’s tenuous too, just meant I am glad your wife didn’t just have a State pension to live on.


  109. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 3:55 pm:

    facts are stubborn things - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 3:00 pm:

    Believe me, I know that from my personal calculations. I would be called a liar if I posted my diminishment number calculated out to age 95 like cod suggests.


  110. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 3:57 pm:

    AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 3:08 pm:

    Don’t hold your breath on that one. The State has never refunded anything out of the pension systems with interest.


  111. - Dan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 4:05 pm:

    Kind of confusing, but Dupage Dan is not the prior Dan (me)


  112. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 4:08 pm:

    As a participant in both SS amd SERS, I’ve been reading about SS for many years also. Worst case us Baby Boomers will get about 70% of what we’ve been promised. The real irony today is I thought it was going to be my State pension protecting me from a partial SS default, not the other way around.


  113. - Mason born - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 4:10 pm:

    RNUG

    –The real irony today is I thought it was going to be my State pension protecting me from a partial SS default, not the other way around. –

    Dam i feel sorry for the kids of the baby boomers in same situation.


  114. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 4:19 pm:

    –Are you questioning if SS will be there for long? I know, it’s tenuous too, just meant I am glad your wife didn’t just have a State pension to live on.–

    Yeah, Social Security has been going bust since about 1975. Medicare, too. It was in all the papers. Again. Again. and Again.

    The planet is out of oil, too, since about 1990. I’m sure you noticed at the filling station.

    Somehow, those dedicated payroll taxes keep covering the nut and the funds keep buying T-bonds to fund the rest of the government.

    American journalism is at it’s worst when it comes to Big Scary Number stories. All those zeroes scare them to death.


  115. - facts are stubborn things - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 4:22 pm:

    @

    - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 3:55 pm:

    =Believe me, I know that from my personal calculations. I would be called a liar if I posted my diminishment number calculated out to age 95 like cod suggests.=

    I would wager you might be near 1/2 million dollars or even more. The further out I run my numbers the more scary it becomes.


  116. - Dan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 4:22 pm:

    SS is in much better shape than Medicare and SSDI. I am not so worried about SS for myself and spouse, but for our kids and grandkids. Younger state employees will work longer than you and I before retiring and won’t have the AAI (cola) I benefited from early in my retirement. As an aside I am an early boomer, 1946.


  117. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 4:29 pm:

    RNUG

    We’ll have to see what the courts say, but I don’t see any way that what is currently called consideration can stand up. In order for it to be consideration it would have to have a value equal to what I’m giving up. Since I have been paying for my COLA for over 30 years, telling me I won’t have to pay it anymore for the last couple of years I work does not give me anything even approaching equal value.

    “Don’t hold your breath on that one. The State has never refunded anything out of the pension systems with interest.”


  118. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 4:41 pm:

    Mason born - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 4:10 pm:

    Me too. A lot of them are in just barely above minimum wage jobs working about 30 hours per week so the businesses can duck various requirements. Quite a few have 2 or 3 jobs just so they can make ends barely meet. If they have a family, they most likely are on the entire alphabet soup of aid programs. And they are pretty much stuck there because of productivity gains / automation that require less workers and older folks too scared to retire continuing to work.

    And I definitely understand it on a firsthand basis; my son & his family fall partially into that category although he is trying to learn a trade that might allow him to eventually have his own business.


  119. - Huggybunny - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 4:45 pm:

    @ wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 4:19 pm:

    Yeah, Social Security has been going bust since about 1975. Medicare, too. It was in all the papers. Again. Again. and Again.

    LOL I know Wordslinger, I don’t listen to FOX news exclusively, can only take so much doom and gloom before I have to find something positive to watch/listen to/read. I haven’t started searching for dog food casserole surprise recipes, yet! I’ll be fine, and hope the same for all the other retirees out there. I don’t comment often, but do appreciate the information posted here, and the humor and wit of you and several other regulars.


  120. - Mason born - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 4:51 pm:

    RNUG

    I get those parts but i’m wincing at what yesterdays bill does to state employees under 45. Especially professional employees who are working for the state in leu of much higher pay in the private sector. (such as engineers, biologists, accountants etc.) By the time the paltry cola and the take aways kick in they are getting hosed.


  121. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 5:33 pm:

    Mason born - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 4:51 pm:

    No doubt.

    Without looking up exactly what I wrote the other day about the effects of this bill if it stands, I think I said something about instead of getting the best and brightest, we’ll be ending up with the dumb and dumber.

    /s on

    Maybe all the professional staff should quit and offer to come back on contract. Then the state would have to pay market rates then. What the heck, it seems like half the technical and professional workers are on semi-permanent contract anyway. After the State has to pay three times as much so a body shop operator gets their cut and makes the necessary kickbacks, excuse me, I meant to say voluntary campaign contributions, the actual employee will end up with double their salary but no benefits. Sounds like a perfect Illinois solution …


  122. - Jechislo - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 6:07 pm:

    Just copying this from another poster on another thread. All of you who think this bill is definitely constitutional - please read.

    +++++++++++++++++++

    Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 2:20 pm:

    Jorgensen vs Blagojevich

    In reaching this result, we acknowledge that substantial budgetary challenges currently confront the Governor and the General Assembly. The adverse economic conditions facing so many of our fellow citizens have taken an inevitable toll on the state’s treasury. Revenues are not keeping pace. Despite ongoing efforts by the Governor and legislature, shortfalls persist. We do not mean to diminish the seriousness of the situation or appear insensitive to the difficulties faced by our coordinate branches of government. Those difficulties are undeniable, and we are highly cognizant of the need for austerity and restraint in our spending. As administrators of the judiciary, we make every effort to economize whenever and however we can. One thing we cannot do, however, is ignore the Constitution of Illinois.

    This court did not set the salaries judges receive, nor did we make COLAs a component of those salaries. The salaries, including their COLA component, were provided by law in the manner described earlier in this opinion, Now that those salaries have been implemented, the constitution commands that they be paid. No principle of law permits us to suspend constitutional requirements for economic reasons, no matter how compelling those reasons may seem


  123. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 6:18 pm:

    Social Security recipients are better off because the cost of living adjustment is tied to inflation and is based on the entire benefit, not less than 1/2 as it will be on my pension.


  124. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 6:32 pm:

    If you’re under age 55 you don’t hope for a refund. Not only will be pay standard taxes on it but there is also a 20% penalty for early withdrawal.


  125. - DuPage - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 8:51 pm:

    @Jack Handy at 12:38,
    https://twitter.com/davemckinney123/status/407954717164044288

    Interesting if true.

    This does look like a conflict could happen. Having Lisa Madigan challenge her Dad’s legislation? She might not obviously throw the case, but just give minimal representation. Or just send her least experienced staff to handle the case.


  126. - Ready To Get Out (soon) - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:11 pm:

    RNUG….I will not calculate my “diminishment” out to 95 years old, doing 20 years is depressing enough at around $250,000. Many others are throwing out the same figures so I think it’s safe to say our numbers are spot on. It is not just diminishment, but MAJOR dimishment! And a 1% point reduction in contributions for active employees is supposed to be consideration? Don’t see any consideration for retirees. And isn’t consideration supposed to be agreed on by the involved parties, instead of forced on them?

    I was just discussing your 5:30 comment today before leaving the office. I told them after what the legislature did to us yesterday, I would only come back at body shop rates. That would be at a minimum, two times my current salary. I’ll gladly come back for 75 days and make up a small portion of the loss.

    But let’s all wait and see if the ISC hopefully rules according to law and not politics.

    To a previous commenter about lawsuits, received tonight from Henry Bayer:

    “But now the bill (SB 1) has passed and Governor Quinn has indicated he plans to sign it. So the fight must shift to the courts. AFSCME and our partners in the We Are One Illinois coalition met with coalition attorneys this morning and authorized them to prepare to file suit challenging the constitutionality of SB 1. We will be asking for a stay of the legislation’s implementation pending a ruling on its constitutionality.”


  127. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:36 pm:

    Ready To Get Out (soon) - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:11 pm:

    Been there, done that (both versions), no T-shirt.

    If you come back under the 75 day rule, then you also come back at the same pay scale you have now. You just won’t have some of the deductions you have now, like state retirement and health insurance. To get a different and presumably higher rate, it would have to be under a (normally bid) personal services contract, which is usually most easily done via one of the existing body shop firms / contracts. Hopefully you already know someone in that business.


  128. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 11:38 pm:

    Ready To Get Out (soon) - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:11 pm:

    BTW - you do realize that my 5:30 comment was prefaced with a snark warning? Not that there isn’t a lot of truth in it …


  129. - Ready To Get Out (soon) - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:10 am:

    RNUG….Yes I noticed, but I did discuss it with them before I saw your post and meant it :-)

    Thanks for the info on the 75 day and body shop procedures. I do have a connection that would probably provide that access for me. After thinking about it more, not sure I would even want to. Only a few days left!


  130. - The DuPage Bard - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 8:20 am:

    Is there really a point to complaining about it now? Why don’t they take away legislators pensions that approved the special GARS pension in 1989? Or take away Thompson’s for allowing the switch over into the GARS system? Or Edgar for creating the ramp? This was bound to happen and trust me in twenty years we’ll be seeing the same problem as today. This doesn’t fix the problem permanently. Do we really think the Supermajority is going to curb spending? Maybe while the heat is on during the next election but then it’s business as usual.


  131. - dupage dan - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 9:51 am:

    I think comparing the SSA fund to oil reserves is not a very good way to describe the system. New sources of oil are found all the time. We think we have found them all and then more are discovered. Sources of oil previously difficult to exploit are more reachable due to new technologies.

    Compare that to the SSA reserve. We have a large group of folks entering the system (baby boomers) with a much smaller group paying towards the fund. Whether or not the system can support the payouts can be debated due to longevity and such but to say all is well is not true. And that doesn’t just come from Foxnews. The Medicare issue is much more precarious, that’s true. Do we see more concern and determination to seek out ways to protect that? I don’t.


  132. - chicago park retiree - Tuesday, Dec 10, 13 @ 3:31 pm:

    I’ve been listening to the various talk shows and somebody usually comments that the state didn’t fund the pensions for decades.Where’s the accountability? Let’s start with Madigan. He’s been there for about thirty years.


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        * Refreshed Abreu set to make adjustments
        * Beckham closer to return from oblique injury
        * Sale changes things up with pitch selection
        * Lindstrom talks the talk about walks
        * Lone Star Infirmary: A Texas Rangers Preview


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        * Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead..
        * Several major projects resume, planned for Sout.....
        * Ill. unemployment remains 3rd highest, despite .....
        * Illinois approved for No Child Left Behind waiver..
        * St. Louis Regional awarded $1.6M for taxiway im.....
        * Clock ticking for states to adopt health exchanges..
        * St. Charles massage parlor worker charged with .....
        * Investigator wants tougher legislative ethics laws..
        * Cook County issues 1,000th gay marriage license..
        * 860 school districts would see cuts if temporar.....


        * Boeing to give California workers $47M in back pay
        * APNewsBreak: Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead
        * Democrats: Illinois schools could face major cuts
        * Illinois approved for No Child Left Behind waiver
        * Cook County issues 1,000th gay marriage license
        * Investigator wants tougher legislative ethics laws
        * Illinois prisons to use costly hepatitis C drug
        * Clock ticking for states to adopt health exchanges
        * Federal lawsuit over western Md. wind farm ends
        * University: Ill. pension reform had costly mistake

        * 2015 tax rates still far from settled
        * Strip club tax brings in much less than expected
        * Quinn grants 43 clemency requests
        * Illinois approved for No Child Left Behind waiver
        * University: State pension reform had costly mistake
        * U of I officials seeking to prevent retirement rush
        * House bill urges schools to make digital emergency plans
        * Illinois Medicaid paying for dead clients
        * Rutherford's lawyers ask judge to dismiss sexual-harassment lawsuit
        * Chicago-only casino option to face opposition

        * Illinois Medicaid paying for dead clients
        * Medicaid paid $12 million for Illinois dead
        * Cook County issues 1,000th gay marriage license
        * Emanuel names task force to find site for Lucas museum
        * Illinois GOP lawmaker objects to 9-0 vote for Obama library


        * Rapper Big Glo laid to rest; father vows better life for children
        * $14 mil. awarded to woman who suffered stroke after taking medication
        * Illinois schools get waiver from No Child Left Behind progress mandate
        * Part of man’s ear bitten off by underage girlfriend’s brother
        * City sends bike cops into high-crime neighborhoods
        * Inspector general report alleges crimes both big and small
        * Feds arrest former mole in Rezko, Carothers cases
        * Truck crashes into Greater Grand Crossing store; five people injured


        * Woman who suffered stroke awarded $14 million in birth control case
        * 1 wounded in Northwest Side shooting
        * Lake County Jail inmate commits suicide
        * Past government mole arrested on federal charges
        * Mom: 15-year-old son killed in North Chicago
        * Boston Bound: Chicago couple determined to run and remember
        * Illinois legislative watchdog recommends greater transparency
        * Illinois legislative watchdog recommends greater transparency
        * Boy, 15, pulled from pond in Woodstock dies
        * City parents can take part in a "mini-shopping spree" for new playground equipment


        * Illinois Finally Gets 'No Child Left Behind' Waiver
        * U Of I: Illinois Pension Overhaul Had Costly Mistake
        * Fish fry dinners bring food, community to Catholics during Lent
        * Listen To State Week - April 18, 2014
        * Murray Center Advocates Win Appeals Decision
        * Employment Improves, But Illinois Still Lags U.S.
        * Nine Illinois lawmakers vote to fund Obama library - but only five members in attendance
        * WBEZ's Student Stories
        * Interview: John Tinker & The Landmark Case On Students' Right To Free Speech
        * State Legislation Hints At Marijuana Legalization


        * Quinn grants 43 clemency requests
        * Illinois approved for No Child Left Behind waiver
        * U of I officials seeking to prevent retirement rush
        * Illinois Medicaid paying for dead clients
        * Democrats: Illinois schools could face major cuts
        * State prisons to use costly drug for hepatitis C
        * University: State pension reform had costly mistake
        * DNR mining-oversight official fired
        * Clock ticking for states to adopt health exchanges
        * GOP lawmaker objects to 9-0 vote for Obama library


        * St. Louis Regional awarded $1.6M for taxiway improvement
        * Running to remember
        * Offense and defense both break off big plays in SIU spring game
        * Hospice to present mystery dinner
        * Blotter 4/18/14
        * Volleyball team visits Kenney
        * Jay, Roper deliver for baseball team
        * HS Track: Monticello Boys Invitational 2014
        * Memorial Scholarship offered
        * SportsTalk 4-18-14


        * The 10th District money race
        * Aurora Democrat calls out IHSA
        * Lawyers: Ill. hazing law vague, unconstitutional
        * Ill. House OKs lower-cost hunting bill for seniors
        * Quinn’s running mate takes new consulting job

        * Lipinski announces 2014 Congressional Art ...
        * Lipinski seeks artistic submissions - The ...
        * Lemont VFW honors Vietnam veterans - Subur...
        * Lipinski Votes to Protect the Paychecks of...
        * Meet the 8 House Dems who don't co-sponsor...
        * Jeff Vorva's Editor's Notebook: In this ca...
        * Rep. Lipinski Honors Vietnam Vets on House...
        * Southwest Airlines Adding 9 Non-Stop Daily...
        * Lipinski Announces Southwest will Start Fl...
        * Lipinski Thanks Voters for Support in Unco...

        * Loading Koch Industries Website Too Many T......
        * Maryland and DC among worst for food aller......
        * Cleveland State University to reestablish ......
        * Convicted political boss Al Sanchez runnin......
        * Candidates make last filings for local, st......

        * Illinois Lt. Gov. Simon opposes pension le......
        * Dillard Odd Man Out on Pension Deal Reaction...
        * Sen. Mark Kirk sides with Rauner on pensio......
        * Governor's race infighting threatens pensi......
        * SCHOONERS - Home of Everyone's Favorite Be......

        * Life-affirming messages challenge abortion business in Chicago
        * What Triggers a Protest of the NRA? [video]
        * Ben Joravsky tells us where the pension money went. And who spent it.
        * Governor Quinn. Veto Rahm’s pension bill.
        * GTCR is Rauner’s Bain Capital. So Squeezy gives him a state contract. Shaking up Springfield?
        * Chris Christie’s pension theft in New Jersey. Nation-wide pension theft needs a nation-wide response.
        * Sean Burns. Fair tax.
        * Peter Dowd. Rauner is no regular guy.
        * Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Farewell letter. Update.
        * Anonymous. “You just want more, more and more.”


        * Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action
        * Proposed Rules for Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act Filed
        * Adopt-A-Highway Spring Cleanup Begins Today - Annual Event Honors Earth Day, Tackles Roadside Litter After Harsh Winter
        * Illinois Schools Win No Child Left Behind Waiver - Federal Government Approves Flexibility Needed for Successful Implementation of State Strategies to Improve Student Learning
        * Illinois filmmakers invited to enter state’s Shortcuts competition - 7th year for Illinois Film Office contest honoring local talent




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