* Ben VanMetre, a senior budget and tax policy analyst at the Illinois Policy Institute, says Speaker Madigan’s pension reform plan doesn’t go nearly far enough…
Illinois Speaker Michael Madigan’s pension proposal (House Amendment #1 to Senate Bill 1) perpetuates Illinois’ crisis. The plan locks in the unmanageable defined benefit plan, guarantees the crowd out of core government services and continues the irresponsible pension payment ramp.
Madigan’s plan keeps politicians in control of state employee pensions. By failing to get rid of defined benefit plans, it keeps taxpayers on the hook for bailouts of a broken retirement system.
Worst of all, it creates a new guarantee obligation that prioritizes pension funding above the education of school children, providing health care for the poor and the provision of public safety for neighborhoods across the state.
Ultimately, the plan fails to provide what Illinois so desperately needs: comprehensive pension reform that ends the state’s pension crisis.
* But Rep. Jeanne Ives, who co-sponsored the IL Policy Institute’s 401(k) bill, defended her vote for the Madigan proposal…
“Hi. My name is Mike and I’m a spend-a-holic, with an addiction to power.” To which the other gathered spend-a-holics and / or power-addicts compassionately replied, “Hi, Mike.”
This was the scene that played out in the Illinois State House on Thursday afternoon, as House Speaker Mike Madigan deigned to step onto the House floor and argue for a bill that would reform pensions.
While it was not the bill that my colleague, Rep. Tom Morrison, and I put forth, which would bring the real reform needed in Illinois, it was a first step. And in Illinois, we needed that first step. […]
As I questioned him about how the pension crisis originated, he acknowledged, on the record, the role of his party and the fact that this bill is just the first step to further reforms.
Rep. Ives was far more deferential to Madigan than she makes it appear in her op-ed. Watch.
* Meanwhile, Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion) said publicly that he wasn’t sure how he’d vote on the bill, but he ended up forcefully behind it during debate. Have a look…
* Illinois Constitution may impede pension reform effort
* House pension bill: What’s in it
* Finke: Pension reform ball now in Senate’s court
* Medical emergency kept Jakobsson from voting on pension bill