Against it before he was for it
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - Posted by Rich Miller
* As I’ve pointed out before, former attorney general Ty Fahner and his Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago have been all over the place on pension reform.
This, for instance, is from a statement Fahner issued back in February…
The Civic Committee opposes Senate Bill 1 (SB1) for a number of reasons, described below.
Sending two alternative pieces of legislation in one bill makes no sense. On appeal, it would confuse the legislative record and intent, invite the Court to take on the Legislature’s role and it would only further delay the implementation of reforms. In addition, the bill as currently drafted presumes that Part A is unconstitutional. It also presumes Part B is constitutional and without flaws of its own.
Any serious pension reform proposal should reduce the unfunded pension liability by $30 Billion or more (with additional substantial reductions in the retiree health care liability to be pursued later). Because of changes incorporated in this bill, it is no longer apparent that it meets this standard. [Emphasis added.]
* SB 1, of course, was since amended to include just Speaker Madigan’s pension proposal. The Civic Committee endorsed that plan earlier this month…
Tell your legislators to support SB1 as it will generate the cost savings necessary to help move our state forward and on its way to good financial health.
SB1, which generates real and significant savings for Illinois, recently passed the House with bipartisan support. Other proposed bills, like SB2404, simply do not go far enough, leaving Illinois with a substantial pension burden.
* But yesterday, Rep. Elaine Nekrtiz released the actuarial data for Speaker Madigan’s pension reform bill. The totals…
$21 billion off unfunded liability
$187 billion off total payments
$1.9 billion off first-year payment
One wonders if Fahner will oppose the Madigan plan, now that it comes up $9 billion short of Fahner’s demand.
Don’t hold your breath.
Downstate school districts could escape increased pension expenses under a proposed cost shift if a House pension reform plan is approved, lawmakers said Tuesday.
Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, said benefit changes and higher employee contributions contained in the House plan would cover downstate teacher pension costs going forward. It’s those future pension costs that House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, wants to shift away from the state and onto local school districts.
“The employer (ongoing) cost would be zero,” Nekritz said. “I think that will be part of the discussion on cost-shift going forward.”
* Ill. Teachers Plans Hedge-Fund Overhaul
* Unes: How and why ’shifting’ became the new ‘taxing’