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Rauner wouldn’t move police and fire to 401(k)

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* From Chicago Tonight…

(Bruce) Rauner says he would support freezing pensions for current workers and moving them into a separate 401K-style system for future work. But, he says police and fire officials would be exempt from that.

“The two groups, I believe, that should have a special deal that’s much better and different than voters, are police and firefighters because they risk their lives, and that’s a different arrangement,” Rauner said.

Rauner did not offer specifics on what a pension deal for police and firefighters would look like. But his stance could be beneficial to gaining the endorsement and support of state police and fire unions.

The attempt to split the union base has already drawn ire remarks from AFSCME…

“Of course police officers and firefighters put their lives on the line to serve the public. Of course they earn their pay and deserve their pension,” said AFSCME spokesperson Anders Lindall. “But I’d like Bruce Rauner to tell a correctional officer in an overcrowded state prison how he thinks their service is worthless. I’d like Rauner to explain to a parole agent that their sacrifice isn’t as worthy. I’d like Rauner to tell a child protection worker knocking on the door of an abusive household that they don’t put themselves in harm’s way. He should explain to EMTs and highway maintainers and employees at Chester Mental Health Center, where the state commits individuals found not guilty of crimes by reason of insanity, that their public service isn’t sufficiently dangerous in Bruce Rauner’s mind to merit the pension they earned. He’s not going to do that, because this billionaire is so out of touch he probably doesn’t know these men and women exist.”

Police and fire unions would be a valuable ally. They bring one heckuva ground game to the table among other things.

Their political strength is the primary reason they were excluded from the Chicago pension bill, which the Tribune editorial board called on Gov. Quinn to sign…

The Chicago pension crisis that burdens an array of Chicago funds is Chicago’s problem and Chicago, to its credit, at long last has negotiated a partial solution. Now, though, Chicago needs that gubernatorial signature.

Every year, whoever is governor of Illinois signs a mound of geography-specific bills that, as laws, give individual local governments leeway to address their local problems. This bill is no different. If Quinn signs the bill and City Hall raises taxes, that’s on City Hall, not on Quinn. It would be preposterous for opportunistic Republicans or aggrieved city taxpayers to blame him for signing the agreement that City Hall negotiated with the unions, City Hall wrote into final form and City Hall persuaded legislators to pass.

So if the City Council raises property taxes as a result of this bill, Gov. Quinn should not be blamed for signing this negotiated measure.

But in the editorial’s closing lines…

Still worried that you’ll be blamed for signing a pension bill affecting city laborers and municipal workers that permits a property tax hike? Too late:

In late 2010 you signed a pension bill affecting city police officers and firefighters that … permits a property tax hike.

Governor, those who criticize your tax policies already have their reasons. Signing this bill shouldn’t add to that list.

Present Pat Quinn is being criticized for Past Pat Quinn signing a bill that could mean higher property taxes if local governments short their pension payments. However, Present Pat Quinn should sign this pension bill that contains similar mechanisms because it shouldn’t be held against Future Pat Quinn?

The Governor isn’t giving any public indication as to how he might rule on this bill. To complicate matters further, Rauner encouraged him earlier this week to veto the bill.

* Mark Brown devoted his column to the difficulties the police and fire unions could pose to the Mayor when he comes back to town to overhaul the remaining pension systems…

Mayors across the state have joined forces in hopes of getting relief from their own soaring police and fire pension costs if the Legislature moves to help Chicago.

Their involvement creates both opportunities and complications for Mayor Rahm Emanuel as he tries to finish what he started with fixes to the pension funds of city municipal workers and laborers.

The opportunity is that Emanuel can expect to have most of those mayors — Democrat and Republican — in his corner next time as he lobbies legislators on police and fire pensions.

The complication is that he also could find every current and retired police officer and firefighter in the state converging on Springfield to oppose him.

* Meanwhile, some alderman and the Cook County Clerk are proposing TIF dollars as a way to offset at least some of the potential property tax increase. Here are the main parts of David Orr’s proposal, which Greg Hinz doesn’t expect to go over well at City Hall…

Orr’s first recommendation is to pare down existing TIFs by removing some properties to immediately return money to communities. If just 10 percent of the TIF increment is returned to the rolls, this administrative move could result in Chicago taxing districts’ ability to levy an additional $38.5 million annually, of which $10 million would be available to the city and $24 million for Chicago Public Schools, according to an analysis by the Clerk’s office.

Orr’s second proposal requires the state legislature to take action to increase the frozen value of TIFs by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) each year and capture the increase as recovered TIF value. Chicago taxing bodies could recoup an estimated $5.7 million each year – $1.5 million for the city and $3.5 million for CPS – by increasing their levy and applying the increase to such things as pension costs.

Orr reiterates his stance that all TIF districts should be audited and those audits made available to the public – a recommendation of the 2011 TIF Reform Task Force not yet implemented. Chicago officials say $1.5 billion of its $1.7 billion TIF fund is committed to projects, but the public has no way to judge whether each project is worthwhile without a comprehensive audit and open debate.

* There are other ideas…

Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) has already proposed a 1 percent commuter tax on 620,000 suburbanities who earn their paychecks in Chicago.

On Tuesday, Ald. Will Burns (4th) took the wraps off his ideas. They include a congestion fee that would require motorists driving into the downtown area to pay a toll for the privilege.

“The property tax has to be part of the mix. But we also need to find other revenue options that are fairer than the property tax. If you’re able to generate more revenue from other sources, maybe the property tax goes down,” Burns said.

- Posted by Barton Lorimor        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    Parsing Unions? Walking a very fine edge of a sword.

    Parsing …Hmm …Isn’t that kinda/sorta what “Bruce Rauner” was against; Any Union support was bad, Union Bosses and corruption?

    “Always”, “Never”, “Only”, “Never”. Words like those come back to haunt.

    If I were Firefighters and Police Unions, why would I believe either Rauner, yesterday’s and today’s?

    Rauner seems to be enjoy the weasel moves.

    The Rauner Crew is proving daily, and it seems hourly, that you can never trust their word, unless its hyperbole, and then you know to either embrace it when One Bruce says so, and ignore it, when the Other Bruce says so.


  2. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 2:08 pm:

    I have always believed that when a candidate discovers reality, they either adapt or die.

    Sounds like Rauner is adapting.

    Keep going Chairman Rau, there is a whole world of reality you would be discovering upsets your little world.

    Master it and make it work. Or just go away.

  3. - Just Me - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    Re: Burns and Fioretti tax ideas: It is always politically popular to raise taxes on someone else.

  4. - Archimedes - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 2:17 pm:

    No one knows what Rauner position is on pensions now. First, it was a hard freeze with no future annual increases. Then he maybe would include annual increases at the IEA debate ( which negates any cost reduction). Now he is carving out police and fire.

    Who knows where he is going?

  5. - Northsider - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    “I don’t mean police and fire unions…”

    Where have I heard that before?

    Oh, right: Scott Walker.

  6. - cover - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    = Re: Burns and Fioretti tax ideas: It is always politically popular to raise taxes on someone else. =

    At least a congestion fee is targeted at a legitimate problem for the City of Chicago, and it would encourage greater use of mass transit that is readily available for most of the commuter base. Would such a fee be implemented on all commuters, including city residents? I have a feeling it would have to be to avoid legal challenges.

  7. - Will Caskey - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 2:23 pm:

    $10M/year is less than five percent of the eventual annual levy proposed by the mayor.

    A TIF audit is a cheap stunt getting support from Aldermen who have no substantive alternatives.

  8. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    “Where have I heard that before?

    Oh, right: Scott Walker.”

    Exactly. Rauner might take the anti-union rhetoric out of his campaign, but he will be judged by his policies and not only his words.

  9. - Ugh - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 2:38 pm:

    Maybe Bruce should mention this to his pals at the Illinois Policy Institute. They don’t seem to agree that Police & Firefighters should exempt…

    Seems like yet another case of Bruce says one thing… his money says another.

  10. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    It’s an attempt to split the union opposition, and that bait, I hope, is not taken by the police and fire unions. There is strength in sticking together. Divide and Conquer isn’t just a saying ya know.

  11. - truthteller - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    And how will Rauner fund the pensions for the police and firefighters?

  12. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    Walker has worked out well for the WI residents so far.

  13. - John B - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 2:48 pm:

    I don’t understand Bruce’s use of the word ‘voters’. Don’t police officers and firefighters vote too? At the IEA event he compared the differences between teachers and voters. I’m pretty sure teachers have the right to vote as well.

  14. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    Does moving to a 401(k) system fix the shortfall?

    It sounds like doing something, but it merely obligates the state to pay more money as it funds two pension systems.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    Rauner’s Crew has to know by now that the Unions, mobilized, and with all Summer to Labor Day to get organized, that the Labor Day to Election Day sweet spot of Union GOTV is the single largest threat, operationally, to the Rauner Cake baking.

    Rauner’s Crew spent $12 million, making the Primary about Quinn, ignoring the “2″ and “Fiasco Friday Man”. It was always about trying to take it to Quinn, and starting that dialog now.

    Three points in April is not setting the table too well, so far.

    Attention Unions; While both Rauners, and Mrs. Rauner try to “Sell”, if you wake up to the weasely way of ignoring the Rauner Crew rhetoric for months on TV, and stay strong, you could very well be the deciding element in both Rauners’ defeat.

    “Union Bosses” just need to hold their powder until State Fair, see how the Supremes rule and Session ends, and “educate” your members.

    This is 2010 stuff. You saw the Ground Game, or lack thereof, of Rauner’s Crew. They are going to get better, but Rauner also called 1/3 of the GA GOP corrupt too. Rauner’s Crew’s first presser was about Democrat and Indies, right after a “Unity Breakfast”. Bruce Rauner is a Raunerite, ignoring the GOP, and in an almost complete flipping of Brady, a solid GOP Base candidate, ignoring Cook and the “Middle”.

    Jason Plummer - Evelyn Sanguinetti…hiding

    You have seen this movie. Educate and mobilize and you are half way there.

  16. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    –“The two groups, I believe, that should have a special deal that’s much better and different than voters, are police and firefighters because they risk their lives, and that’s a different arrangement,” Rauner said.–

    At least Rauner admits that 401Ks are a lousy deal compared to a pension.

    But, again, once you move government workers out of pension plans, you have to start kicking into Social Security — just like how other businesses are run.

    Run the numbers — are there real savings there?

    And you can’t short payments to Social Security, as any business owner will tell you.

  17. - DuPage Rep - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:05 pm:

    AFSCME and SEIU have been holding the rest of organized labor hostage over their pensions for too long. There is a split in labor, but the real question is if this split leads to the backing of Rauner. IMHO there is no way labor of any form backs Rauner, at least publically. Rauner’s best hope is to dial down the outright hatred that all of labor has for him right now.

    Hope his “team” is trying to do that, as opposed to the arrogant approach that labor will come to them if Quinn is down in August or September. My money says that the arrogant North Shore approach is winning out right now with team Rauner.

  18. - Darienite - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    Regarding a commuter tax:
    1. I blew the dust off my history book. Something about no taxation without representation was mentioned.
    2. I believe there would be a huge increase in telecommuting. It would also result in a decrease to the Metra revenue, as well as a decrease in sales tax to the restaurants and retail business in the loop.

  19. - Joe M - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:11 pm:

    ==Walker has worked out well for the WI residents so far.==

    Individual income tax rates:

    Illinois: 5% (after being 3% for 20 years)

    – 4.6 percent on the first $10,070 of taxable income.
    – 6.15 percent on taxable income between $10,071 and $20,130.
    – 6.5 percent on taxable income between $20,131 and $151,000.
    – 6.75 percent on taxable income between $151,001 and $221,660.
    – 7.75 percent on taxable income of $221,661 and above.

    Median Household Income

    Illinois: $56,855
    Wisconsin: $52,627
    Per Capita Income

    Illinois: $29,519
    Wisconsin: $27,426

  20. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:11 pm:

    “Walker has worked out well for the WI residents so far.”

    Scott Walker’s union-stripping policies may have saved Wisconsin little or no money. Walker admitted that one or more of the union-stripping provisions of the law will save no money.

    Unions agreed to concessions, but Walker took the extra step and stripped their rights.

    Saving the state money by stripping unions was not Walker’s aim. His aim was to do the bidding of his funders, the Koch brothers and other super-wealthy conservatives who are out to weaken unions and their political and economic power.

    Walker is Koch boy #1.

    As far as jobs, Wisconsin is not so hot. It was ranked 35th in job growth.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:12 pm:

    Ilinois is not Wisconsin.

    Ask IEA when Rauner faced them with the “Wisconsin” Dopiness.

  22. - DoubleDown - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:20 pm:

    The whole dynamic is so different then the Brady/Quinn election. Rauner is fighting in Quinn territory not Quinn fighting in Brady territory (social issues).

    First thought that came to mind which some one else said was divide and conquer, find the chink in the armour (soft spot) some how. Rauner goin to the union meeting with Quinn the lions den you can say.

    I do not recall, did Brady do this ?

    This is a chess game which is enjoyable to watch if you are a politcal junkie

  23. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:23 pm:

    Can any union trust what Rauner is saying? I don’t think so.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    ===Can any union trust what Rauner is saying? I don’t think so.===

    “Right. Exactly Right.”

    If I am a Union Boss, the speech or newsletter story, or talking points I hammer …

    “Why take a chance?” - Remo.

    You don’t take a chance.

  25. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:28 pm:

    Rauner team is realizing 2010 political atmosphere was a once in a generation occurrence. You live in a bubble when you think Illinois can be the next Wisconsin or Indiana, and on March 18th that bubble popped. Now Rauner and Inc. are back tracking and trying to shed an image that won’t be possible due to his barrage of TV ads criticizing unions. The only thing Rauner is doubling down on is “Shaking up Springfield,” which I have no clue what it means, but I know it involves a large hammer.

  26. - DuPage Rep - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:43 pm:

    The key for Rauner is to get around the “Union Boss” and get to the rank and file. Tradesmen are conservative for the most part, but they love their union and their benefits. If Rauner can get to these guys and away from that right to work crap, Quinn is going to have big time problems.

  27. - Federalist - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:45 pm:

    If this is pandering or a mopve to split unions, it will only infuriate all other public employees and further drive a natual inclination to go back to Quinn.

    As for other voters, the big ticket item for pensions on their local property tax bills is the much higher benefits for police and fire.

  28. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:51 pm:

    - DuPage Rep -

    ===If Rauner can get to these guys and away from that right to work crap, Quinn is going to have big time problems.===

    That could be very true.

    The problem is that citing Walker, and Daniels, and Indiana and Wisconsin, and how they have treated Unions, it’s difficult to make that parsing case versus, “why take a chance?”

    The McCormack Place Unions, the Decorators, Carpenters, Electricians, and even the Operating Engineers can, and use to be, fertile ground for a GOP candidate …

    But Rauner is a Raunerite, not a Republican, and especially a Republican candidate understanding the Union dynamics.

    If both Rauners would have won by that 20 point margin, and also be up double digits, in April, today, that cake without them would make sense. It makes no sense winning by less than 4 points and leading Quinn by 3, and how “Illinois is Wisconsin” in the rhetoric seemingly being mocked like the IEA found Rauner, today.

    I see your angle, but tough sledding with all that video, and advertising to talk away from now.

  29. - Downstater - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:51 pm:

    Rauner’s campaign seems to be adapting well now that the primary is over. Most successful candidates adapt their message, after a hard fought primary. Smart move by Rauner team. No wonder this guy made millions!

  30. - Norseman - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:52 pm:

    Teachers should be really upset by this new stance. Some of them have a pretty dangerous job. I’m sure they’d ask for combat pensions as well.

  31. - The Doc - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:54 pm:

    ==Tradesmen are conservative for the most part, but they love their union and their benefits==

    As long as I’m picking on DuPage Rep, riddle me this:

    Rauner is vowing to strip benefits and crush the union (which you claim the tradesmen cherish), and is ignoring the social issues (which ostensibly is what makes the tradesmen conservative).

    So why would they vote for him?

  32. - A guy... - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:55 pm:

    ===This is a chess game which is enjoyable to watch if you are a politcal junkie===

    There’s a great deal of truth in this statement Double Down. Rauner is adapting to the different set of circumstances an Illinois General Election poses vs. an Illinois GOP Primary Election. Both Pat Quinn’s and MJM’s negatives are at all time highs. That’s the first step. To all of us quirky types who pay a great deal of attention to this stuff, we’ve seen and heard everything.

    Thing is, is that after a primary there’s a newer, larger audience. A good deal of people (hard to believe) are just beginning to hear about and pay attention to the race and seeing Bruce Rauner for the first time, or at least the first time they’re paying more attention.

    Adapting and expanding this message to this more diverse audience is underway. It’s a new match. PJQ has little choice but to enact a tax increase, after which he will have to say “it still doesn’t solve our pension crisis”. There’s plenty of time and messaging to go, but it will be fascinating.

    Final point, not to be critical of union workers, but here it is: It’s not just them, it’s their families and friends who need to be in an uproar over these issues. They may have spent the “uproar” in the primary, and it may be very difficult to ratchet up the same angst beyond their own membership. It’s still an open wound to the people who take the opposite point of view. They may well be easier to mobilize. Time will tell.

  33. - RNUG - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:55 pm:

    Nobody has mentioned IDOT maintenance workers yet. I believe they are currently part of the life / safety 2.2 pension system because of the danger in their jobs. That’s one more group that Rauner will be ticking off with this proposal.

  34. - Wumpus - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 3:58 pm:

    Okay, how about a 2% fee, tax or whatever on city shoppers who come to the suburbs to shop. Better yet, Woodfield, Rosemont, Aurora, Yorktown etc could charge for parking for those with City of Chicago vehicle stickers.

  35. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 4:06 pm:

    @RNUG, the AFSCME quote above mentions highway maintainers. Absolutely one of the most dangerous jobs of all. Rauner is clueless.

  36. - DuPage Rep - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 4:09 pm:

    @ The Doc
    Tradesmen, and I use that term generically, do not think they are like government workers that have 40 hour work weeks year round with pensions, holidays an vacations to boot. They do not work for portions of the year due to weather and the economy. Their idea of a vacation is without pay. Tradesmen are conservative because they want lower taxes, and they do not like big government.

    Rauner can not gut the trades pensions and wages, that is covered by the NLRA. Private contracts.

    Being a conservative is not just about abortion and gays. Its about the role of government and how much you pay for it.

  37. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 4:11 pm:

    Parsing “who versus who” is not too wise, especially when you then give reasons like “danger” and such.

    This is a can of worms for a campaign, and especially for campaign rhetoric. I am sure both Rauners will clarify, “again, and again, and again”, but sooner or later, parsing is just parsing, and subtracing is never adding.

  38. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 4:17 pm:

    DuPage Rep, your painting with a broad brush there. There’s no lock-step “tradesmen” political ideology.

    But union guys don’t like “right-to-work.”

  39. - foster brooks - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 4:20 pm:

    RNUG i really dont think this 301k idea will fly, anything that changes the amount and when you can retire will not pass const. muster.

  40. - RNUG - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 4:24 pm:

    - Reality Check - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 4:06 pm:

    Thanks. I read it a couple of times but missed it.

  41. - The Doc - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 4:30 pm:

    ==Being a conservative is not just about abortion and gays. Its about the role of government and how much you pay for it==

    Allow me to simplify.

    Are these “conservative tradesmen” willing to sacrifice union representation and all of its benefits, plus a reduced or eliminated defined benefit pension, in exchange for lower taxes and some nebulous reduced role for government? Because that is precisely, unequivocally what Rauner is promising.

    And lest one accuses me of falling off the turnip truck, it will be quite a challenge, to put it mildly, for Rauner to deliver on these promises.

  42. - RNUG - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 4:33 pm:

    - foster brooks - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 4:20 pm:

    I wasn’t even going there. I was just looking at the “divide and conquer” strategy / political approach to things.

    The way I see it is IF there is NO ISC decision by November, most the State employees / retirees, both D & R, will end up going for “better the enemy you know” and vote for Quinn. Now IF there IS a ISC decision in favor of the employees / retirees before November, I could see the employees / retirees following their normal split.

  43. - DuPage Rep - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 4:40 pm:

    @ The Doc
    My point is public vs. private unions. Rauner can not touch private benefits. Rauner’s big problem with non-government unions is right to work.

  44. - Nearly Normal - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 4:41 pm:

    Double Down–Brady and Quinn DID appear together before the IEA Representative Assembly in 2010. Brady was about as popular as Rauner.

  45. - Chicago guy - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 4:41 pm:

    Police officers and Fire fighters don’t rank among the top ten professions for fatalities according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. I’m not saying they aren’t dangerous occupations, but it sure looks like Mr. Rauner is more interested in politics than facts.

  46. - DoubleDown - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 4:47 pm:

    @ Nearly Normal - Thank You for the clarification
    I figured as much if he did goto that gathering

  47. - A guy... - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 4:48 pm:

    ====wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 4:17 pm:
    DuPage Rep, your painting with a broad brush there. There’s no lock-step “tradesmen” political ideology.
    But union guys don’t like “right-to-work.”====

    True enough in both observations. There’s not necessarily a lock step between many unions on a lot of things. Labor, Public sector, etc.
    If you observe ‘right to work’ in other states where union tradition has long existed, it’s not a panacea (not pancreas-lol) anyway.

    Treating them individually and negotiating separately is hardly a new concept. His points about certain trades are not ‘off the charts’ though. A lot of trades union members are conservative thinkers, be it socially or fiscally. They do have to plan a little better and a little more between trades projects. I know this is being described as Divide and Conquer, but I don’t think it is generally. Police and Fire have long been separate from other public unions. They will be supportive of others, but make no mistake as to what their top concern is; themselves. I do think highway workers probably have a more dangerous job from taps to sundown every day. There will be recognition of a pecking order that already exists as these things get ferreted out.

  48. - funny guy - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 5:04 pm:

    Sell O’Hare and you won’t have to raise taxes or cut benefits to pay for City pensions.

  49. - Tsavo - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 5:16 pm:


    As a State retiree, thank you for all your informative posts. Based upon Mr. Rauner’s statement that retirees will keep their 3% compunded COLA, if the ISC does not rule by election time,you don’t see Mr. Rauner pulling in a large amount of retiree votes?

  50. - MrJM - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 5:22 pm:

    General Election Rauner is to Post-Election Rauner as Primary Rauner is to General Election Rauner.

    – MrJM

  51. - one day at a time - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 5:22 pm:

    I remember when fellow police officers and firefighters could qualify for Food Stamps due to the pay rates. While I value my pension and the years of hard work the FOP, IAFF, AFMSME and others did to get the pay and benefits increases over the the years…..I question Mr.(don’t I look like Carhart kinda guy) Rauner’s motives in trying to “buy” votes by creating a class war within the public employee sector

  52. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 5:24 pm:


    What if there is a decision AGAINST the employees/retirees? What politics come into play there? I think Rauner has made clear he doesn’t think the pension law was adequate. If the Court says the pension law changes are ok wouldn’t you think that employees/retirees might be loathe to vote for Rauner thinking he might harm them even further? Of course that’s assuming anybody is thinking logically at that time.

  53. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 5:29 pm:

    ===- MrJM -

    General Election Rauner is to Post-Election Rauner as Primary Rauner is to General Election Rauner.

    – MrJM===

    How. Good. Is. That?

    Well done … well done.

  54. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 5:45 pm:

    Ergo, Post-Election Rauner will be Primary Rauner.

  55. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 5:59 pm:

    Demoralized, if the law is upheld, then it’s ‘Katie, bar the door’ because that will just be the first assault on the pensions, and the democrats have already proven they’ll take the easy way out.

  56. - Archimedes - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 6:15 pm:

    When Rauner makes a statement about retirees keeping their 3% compounded increases, i remain skeptical. After all, previously he said all earned benefits would be kept - but what he really meant was you can keep your increases that have already been paid, but will not receive any more in the future.

    Not convinced he has changed his position on this.

  57. - Del Wasso - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 8:06 pm:

    Rauner is intentionally trying to create a wedge between the state’s public employee unions. Any union officer willing to stab their fellow union brothers in the back and stand up with Rauner, today, will very much deserve the knife that Rauner puts in his or her back, tomorrow.

  58. - Retired UIUC - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 8:19 pm:

    I went to the Spring Meeting of the Urbana-Champaign Chapter of the State Universities Annuitants Association on Sunday afternoon. They had a panel of faculty members from the U of I Law School discussing the lawsuits. There was no consensus on how the ISC would rule on the lawsuits but it was pointed out that this is going to be a very complicated lawsuit and the expectation was that it would be at least two years before a ruling would come down from the ISC and perhaps a lot longer. They also pointed out that the Arizona retiree cola case took about three and a half years from start to finish.

    This is going to be a long drawn out process.

    We were also informed during the meeting that the SUAA attorneys will be asking for a stay. However, it was also pointed out that even if a stay was granted that there was the possibility that if the state received a favorable ruling from the ISC that the state could reduce future benefit payments to reclaim the funds that were received as a result of the stay.

  59. - foster brooks - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 8:59 pm:

    I’m not calling you out RNUG, i just think rauners real position on 301k’s is hog wash.Besides the ISC he has to get by the GA. Wont happen when its dem.

  60. - DuPage - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 9:27 pm:

    @DuPage Rep4:40=Rauner’s big problem with non-government unions is right to work=
    That is one problem, but a bigger one is Rauner’s pledge to end prevailing wage on public construction projects. Government-union trades people don’t like Rauner any better then any other public employee group. A handful of trades individuals out of thousands may like Rauner, but the only trades groups that support Rauner are non-union contractors and builders.

  61. - anon - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    Once the State files its answer, we’ll have a better idea of how long that litigation will take. If the defense is police powers, the trial court will need to hear evidence about the State’s financial condition which will delay the case. If the defense is consideration, the trial court may be able to rule without hearing further evidence. Even if the case then goes directly to the Illinois Supreme Court, no way would there be a ruling by November.

  62. - RNUG - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    - Tsavo - Wednesday, Apr 16, 14 @ 5:16 pm:

    Late answer but no, I don’t. Even for a politican, Rauner has said too many different things to be even slightly belivable.

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