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Tuesday, Dec 3, 2013 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The pension reform conference committee meets this morning at 8:30. You can watch a live video feed by clicking here. Watch the session unfold in real time below


  1. - Retired and fed up - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 8:56 am:

    No losers? What about retirees like me who will see my purchasing power go down greatly since the AAI will only be on part of my monthly payment even though I contributed 1% of all of my income for the AAI and the businesses where I won’t have money to spend? Also, what about the Constitution?

  2. - SoxFan5905 - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 9:39 am:

    A retired teacher with a 50K pension will lose over 120K over the next 20 years if pension reform bill passes. That teacher is not covered by Social Security.

  3. - Chicago Publius - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 9:39 am:

    Zalewski want to argue that unilateral changes to the contract are somehow constitutionally legal. But contract law always requires that a change to the contract, if enforcable, is bilateral.

  4. - Chicago Publius - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 9:48 am:

    The lawyers from Freeborn & Peters aren’t doing a very good job of hammering home the fact that the COLA theft is NOT supported by “consideraton,” for at least 3 reasons: First, “consideration” requires offer-acceptance - it can’t be imposed in unilaterally. Second, the “guarantee” is illusory: the statute itself can always be revised to eliminate it; moreover, under the constitutional principle of separation of powers, the courts will NEVER order the General Assembly to appropriate this money. Third, the benefit of the gurantee is nothing new - it’s already provided for in the Illinois Constitution. Don’t kid yourselves.

    , legislators. This “guarantee” is no

    Under well-established

  5. - Soon to be ripped off again - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 10:16 am:

    This is good for the taxpayers of Illinois? Once again, public employees are ignored as citizens because we are in fact, taxpayers, paying that increased 2% like everyone else. This might be good for the thieves who are once again plundering the retirement savings of dedicated public servants, but it is deadly and a kick in the gut to us. Small businesses will leave? Maybe we will too. And gladly put our money in the small businesses anywhere but Illinois. It would be a privilege to pay income tax in another state, just so one more penny doesn’t land in this one. See who nice it is to repay the kindness and generosity?

  6. - Irish - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 10:32 am:

    So King Madigan says pensions are too rich. And yet he will probably walk away with one of the top pensions in state history, for a part time job. The arrogance and pompous attitude are sickening.

  7. - Tom - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 10:43 am:

    I’d like to hear what the people from public sector unions would suggest instead of some kind of reform. I understand they’re in a tough spot, but they seem only say “no!” while not offering another solution. It’s not helpful.

  8. - anonymouse - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 10:55 am:

    Tom: SB2404 was agreed to by the unions a a COMPROMISE!

  9. - Tri-dean - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 10:59 am:

    Progressive income tax like most of the rest of the United States; mandatory sentencing guidelines revision to alleviate prison costs which are out of control–let judges be judges; Legislator pay and privileges, which are mostly hidden to the public. Corporate welfare? That’ll get us started.

  10. - SoxFan5905 - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 11:43 am:

    I’m with anonymous on the SB2404 comment

  11. - SoxFan5905 - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    Wondering what legislators pension benefits are like? Check out General Assembly Retirement System website. It seems that fund has been fully funded, too. They can collect up to 115% to start.

  12. - Mittuns - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 11:57 am:

    I think there are enough votes for passage in the Senate, maybe 4-5 to spare, depending on the structure and GOP support.

  13. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 12:02 pm:

    I can see why the Senate would be dicey. Madigan dissed them pretty badly by refusing to call their bill.

  14. - Decaf Coffee Party - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 12:32 pm:

    Radogno saying another bond downgrade will happen if the bill doesn’t pass. Wonder if she got her info from Ty.

  15. - Decaf Coffee Party - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 12:45 pm:

    Recalling Madigan’s insult that Cullerton did not have good enough control over his chamber when the original SB 1 failed in the Senate, a yes vote today for essentially the same bill would demonstrate how subserviant Cullerton really is.

  16. - Knome Sane - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 12:53 pm:

    If John Cullerton can only deliver 18 votes, it’s lights out people.

  17. - Union Man - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 1:02 pm:

    If this bill passes maybe all state workers should take “Pension day holiday!” Let’s see how the General Assembly likes that!! Storm the “new capitol doors”!!

  18. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 1:30 pm:

    Jil Tracy signed the conference report, but now she’s dissing it? How does that work?

  19. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 1:34 pm:

    Incredible… Legislation on who must represent retirement systems in a suit before the bill is even voted.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 1:47 pm:

    Sen. Kwame Raoul - “Bruce Almighty” lol

    Well done, senator, nicely played.

  21. - Irish - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 1:59 pm:

    Maybe MJM should qualify his statements and say “Illinois spends more on trying to catch up on pension payments that were skipped because I wanted to RETAIN MY POSITION AS SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE. And if I didn’t take the money that was supposed to go into pensions and spent it on other programs so I didn’t have to raise taxes, we wouldn’t be in this position today.”

  22. - Zyphie - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    Madigan thinks that reducing employees’ contributions shows “consideration”? What is the consideration for already retired employees?

  23. - So. ILL - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 2:28 pm:

    - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 1:30 pm:

    Jil Tracy signed the conference report, but now she’s dissing it? How does that work?

    ANNND cue Kirk Dillard’s no vote.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 2:30 pm:

    Jeanne Ives - ALL in 401K?

    Someone remind her there is still an Illinois Constitution and ALL in a 401K is just completely ignorant. Someone needs to tell Rep. Ives she is not required to talk!

  25. - Sage - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 2:34 pm:

    Touche Irish.

    I ask Speaker Madigan: you and your caucus have a mandate to lead because you asked the voters for and won, a super majority.

    Yet with majorities in both Chambers and the Governorship, you have failed over the past 12 years to pass reform that you yourself say is vital. My question is this–How many Democratic members do you need to act?

    Do you need 80 percent of House and Senate seats or 90 percent? If you won all 118 seats in the House, could you do it?

    Madigan and his party have had 12 years of total democrat rule of Illinois government. That’s 12 years with all the power they needed to fix anything and everything they think Governors Thompson and Edgar did wrong. The past 12 years has shown the world EPIC failure of total one party Democrat rule in Illinois. With much higher unemployment than all over our neighboring states as result of such irresponsible management, Madigan, Emil Jones-John Cullerton and Blago and Quinn have hurt the lives of the working poor and middle class.

    It’s time for the party which lies in campaigns as they fight dirty for seat after seat to win super majorities to lead, follow or get out of way.

    No one contributed more to Illinois’ decline than Mike Madigan. Look at every indicator 30 years ago and how far down we are now. If the man had an ounce of class or was man enough to take responsibility for failure while having a super majority, he would resign.

  26. - Sangamo Sam - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 2:40 pm:

    @Zyphie 2:24 pm

    Exactly nothing.

  27. - Earl Shumaker - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 2:42 pm:

    If this legislation passes, both the Illinois Constitution and state retirees will become political collateral damage.
    It appears that this so-called “pension reform” bill was based on the political agendas of Democratic “leaders” Madigan and Cullerton and Republican leaders Radogno and Durkin. It appears that little consideration, if any was given to the constitutionality of the bill, or the economic impact this legislation will have on retirees and their families.

  28. - reformer - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 2:46 pm:

    == Senger says IL has a chance not to disappoint the bond houses.==

    What will surely disappont the bond houses is if the temporary income tax mostly expires after next year, reducing state revenue by $5.4 billion a year. I bet Senger won’t try to satisfy the bond houses on that issue.

  29. - reformer - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 2:49 pm:

    == Sandack says pension reform bill is good enough for now. ==

    Does that mean he intends to come back for the other arm and leg down the road?

  30. - Rod - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 2:55 pm:

    Carol Marin is probably the most irritating of the Chicago TV reporters covering the pension issue, in her own way she is more pompous that even Mike Flannery. Reading her tweets is almost as painful as watching her last night on Chicago Tonight attempting to equate the opposition to the pension Bill coming from the Rauner/Republican right and the unions/left democrats. All she has been harping on for months is the supposedly do nothing legislature.

    Here is one of her good ones from today: “As the Senate considers tax breaks for corporations, it can’t help but be hard to swallow for state workers taking a pension hit.” What compassion from a reporter who likely hasn’t grossed under $150,000 a year over the last 15 years and whose husband was a full professor at the University of Tennessee making at least $80,000 until his retirement. She is always thinking about the little guy, who ever that is.

  31. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:04 pm:

    To those legislators saying this is about saving the pensions so they won’t become insolvent, click on the following:

  32. - reformer - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:05 pm:

    Will any proponent commit to oppose any further diminution of benefits if, say, Gov. Rauner says $160 billion isn’t enough?

  33. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:06 pm:

    === “Any legal challenge to this bill … will be before a judge” - Speaker Madigan ===

    Finally, a truthful statement.

  34. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:08 pm:

    Rep Tracy… think about what you’ve ALREADY done with the money that SHOULD has gone to pensions

  35. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:19 pm:

    I guess Sen. Duffy couldn’t fine anyone to read the bill to him, lol.

    For or against, the “not-enough-time” act is a pathetic dodge.

  36. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:20 pm:

    Poor Duffy. He’s afraid to ask his fellow senators what’s being discussed in committee? He doesn’t read the paper. He’s been sleeping for two years?

  37. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:22 pm:

    And the Republicans’ reward for supporting this bill if it passes will be…..? A shout-out from the Governor? Resigned and cheerful acceptance from the govt employees in their districts? An Xmas card from the rating agencies? Huge campaign contributions from corporations who well know Quinn is going to get re-elected no matter what?
    A seat at the table when the Democrats start passing out that freed-up pension cash? What are they thinking?

  38. - skeptical spectacle - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:24 pm:

    Judge in Detroit just allowed bankruptcy to occur and to not allow pension obligations to have preferential treatment over any other creditor the city of Detroit has, and there are many.

    Unless Illinois passes pension reform and deals with revenue issues, Illinois and City of Chicago will be Detroit. It will only be a matter of time.

  39. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:24 pm:

    Easy on Duffy! Reading is hard. Understanding what is going on …is hard.

    Reading AND undertanding what is going on, and has been going on … almost impossible ….for Sen. Duffy.

    How does Sen. Duffy handle constituent problems, do they take weeks? Months?

  40. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:32 pm:

    –Unless Illinois passes pension reform and deals with revenue issues, Illinois and City of Chicago will be Detroit. It will only be a matter of time. –

    Why’s that? You see a lot of similarities in the economic fortunes of Detroit and Illinois over the last sixty years?

    Do you really think public employee pensions led to Detroit’s bankruptcy filing?

  41. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:36 pm:

    Oh geez, “Detroit” and “Bankruptcy” again…

    (Grabs unopend ‘adult beverage’ drink, and pours 2 ’shots’)

  42. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:43 pm:

    “Unless Illinois passes pension reform and deals with revenue issues, Illinois and City of Chicago will be Detroit. It will only be a matter of time.”

    And while cities can declare bankruptcy under federal law, states can’t.

  43. - skeptical spectacle - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:43 pm:


    decades of mismanagement from politicians.

    not enough money to meet all the municipalities “obligations”

    naaaaaaa, your right, no similarity whatsoever.

    Further, if you don’t see the potential ramifications of a judge allowing a municipality to go through a bankruptcy, which is somewhat unprecedented, then I’m fear for you analytical abilities.

    Could open the flood gates nationwide for multitude of other civic entities in similar dire straits. This ruling in Detroit today was a major blow for unions. It is ironic it occurred while this deliberation is taking place in Illinois.

  44. - chuck - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:44 pm:

    What happened to oath of office?

  45. - skeptical spectacle - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:45 pm:

    So you don’t think Detroit ruling affects the union’s power balance?

    You don’t think union power has any role in State politics?

    What am I missing here? It seems pretty relevant to me.

  46. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:48 pm:

    Bravo Sen. Holmes. I’m glad that I didn’t get my desire to have a Republican defeat you in the last election. I’m proud to have you serving my hometown.

  47. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:48 pm:

    Illinois can not go backrupt. Once you admit you understand that, your sanity will return.

    When all the “Detroit” and “Backrupt” Posters are typing this, do they wear the Tin Foil hats, or do you put the hat on after and read so its easier to beileve the nonsense.

  48. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:50 pm:

    SS, you ever been to Detroit? Did you know that in 1950, half of all automobiles in the world were assembled in Detroit? Today, there is only one auto plant in the city limits?

    Do you see how a long economic decline in a one-industry town is a little different than the experience here?

    Detroit. Have another drink on me.

  49. - skeptical spectacle - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:50 pm:

    When Oswego Willy talks about people wearing Tin Foil hats……….

    Well, anyone whose second finger is tired from scrolling through his repetitive, (very)freely associated rants KNOWs what I allude to……

  50. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:51 pm:

    Curious post asking where all the state workers are, shouldn’t they be at work?

  51. - Snucka - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:53 pm:

    So Dillard couldn’t even convince his running mate to vote against this bill?

  52. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:53 pm:

    (pours another shot from - wordslinger -s ‘Detroit, slams down bottle, and looks at shot)

    Well at least - skeptical spectacle - didn’t type “Detroit” …Dang!

    (pours another shot)

  53. - skeptical spectacle - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:53 pm:

    Does Detroit have enough money to meets is obligations? Does Illinois/

    Has Detroit exhibited excellent economic leadership over decades by its elected officials? Has Illinois?

    Has Detroit spent more than it can afford over many years and used cash from “promised benefits” to pay for these ill advised expenditures? Has Illinois?

    Has Detroit recently gone through a highly controversial legislative and judicial process to try to figure out a way out a financial crater? Has Illinois?

    My fingers are tired from typing all these reasons.

  54. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:54 pm:

    === .@KirkDillard says he locked himself in law office to do research on #ILpensions bill. Has major concerns ===

    Perhaps, the research involved viewing polls on which vote on the bill would enhance his election chances.

  55. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:54 pm:

    And the research tells him that a no vote would be best!

  56. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:56 pm:

    - skeptical spectacle -,

    I am running out of ‘beverage’ to get my shots.

    Either learn the differences between the “city that shall not be named” or send me a bottle! lol

  57. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 3:58 pm:

    Rep. Kay - You’re showing your ignorance.

  58. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:00 pm:


    It’s not a difficult concept to understand that the STATE of Illinois is not Detroit. Get. A. Clue. Enough with the Detroit comparison nonsense. Apples and oranges, my friend.

  59. - skeptical spectacle - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:06 pm:

    OW, I will let you read my arguments again tomorrow when you get your emails from the union organizers telling you how the Detroit decision is a threat to union workers everywhere…..even those who work for states.

    Or you can listen to my arguments from Ed, or Chris, Rachel on MSNBC tonite. They will be telling you again why this decision today is relevant. Maybe you will take it better from them.

  60. - reformer - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:06 pm:

    So Dillard is opposed while his running mate is for it?

  61. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:07 pm:

    Kay - Don’t believe everything you read!!!!

  62. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:10 pm:

    I sure hope you’re not driving anytime soon Willy.

    Here’s one for the road: Detroit!

    And another for the ditch: Detroit!

    Now give the keys to someone else.

  63. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:10 pm:

    Add SS & Sue to the Troll list.

  64. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:12 pm:

    ===…Ed, or Chris, Rachel on MSNBC tonite.===

    Talking. Heads. NBC “Narrative”

    Same reason I mock the Fox News talking heads when I am concerned about Illinois, and tune out the Fox News “Narrative”.

    You keep up with the MSNBC, and the others wil keep up with the Fox News, and the rest of us will deal with realities that Illinois is NOT the “city that shall not be named”

  65. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:13 pm:

    “Has Detroit spent more than it could afford over many years”

    These views are one-sided. There is also a compelling case that Illinois has had a revenue deficit. The state income tax has been low for years, lower than virtually every state that collects an income tax. The state’s finances suffered in part because of this.

  66. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:14 pm:

    - 47th Ward -,

    Why, why do you forsake me! I am not driving soon, and now thanks to you, I might have to forget driving tomorrow!

  67. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:18 pm:

    I didn’t think it was possible, but Sen. Jacobs’ tirade and having the gall to talk about the “sins of our fathers” is a new low.

  68. - Jorge - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:20 pm:

    I thought you were tired of typing Skeptical. If so then please stop. Thanks.

  69. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:22 pm:

    Darn, enlightened caught me. Sorry Willy. I tried to keep it a secret.

  70. - Tom - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:22 pm:

    Boy, Oswego Willy is so confident about how well-off Illinois is. I have a feeling he works for the competition–*ahem* Scott Walker *ahem*

  71. - Stuff happens - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:22 pm:

    Tom, I propose that we tax *all* retirement income.

    We spent the money on other stuff instead of pensions and everyone benefited. Now we should take the money from everyone as well.

    Of course, that’s a tough political pill to swallow, and as I’ve said earlier, it’s easier to demonize those socialist pensioners.

  72. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:25 pm:

    - Norseman -, you don’t have to take the fall for me.

    I am indeed getting paid.

    By Robert Plummer.

    There. Whew! you have a beef, caontact his “right hand” Jason, and lodge a complaint.

  73. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:25 pm:

    - Norseman -, you don’t have to take the fall for me.

    I am indeed getting paid.

    By Robert Plummer.

    There. Whew! you have a beef, contact his “right hand” Jason, and lodge a complaint.

  74. - SoxFan5905 - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:25 pm:

    If this passes a retired teacher with a $50K pension will lose $173K over the next 20 years. And the supporters of it will all pat themselves on the back and say how courageous their vote was.

  75. - reformer - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:26 pm:

    == Bellock: This will provide certainty for taxpayers, for teachers and state employees. ==

    Does that mean that Bellock would oppose any further attempt to reduce pensions, should this one pass? If not, where is the certainty?

  76. - reformer - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:27 pm:

    == Durkin: Failure to act will drive our bond ratings even lower. ==

    Failure to extend the temporary income tax hike will drive our bond ratings lower. But I bet Durkin won’t care about bond ratings in that case.

  77. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:29 pm:

    Add Durkin to the Troll list.

  78. - SoxFan5905 - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:29 pm:

    Bellock extolls certainty. Retirees are certain to lose a lot of money.

  79. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:35 pm:

    Thus, phase 2 of the fight begins.

  80. - Dinosaur - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:42 pm:

    I guess I’ll have to find ways to cut my household budget. First order of business is to cancel my subscription to the Trib.

  81. - Dinosaur - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:42 pm:

    I guess I’ll have to find ways to cut my household budget. First order of business is to cancel my subscription to the Trib.

  82. - Tom - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:47 pm:

    To Stuff happens - I don’t know exactly if you’re being serious or not. I also don’t think we should be demonizing anyone. But we do live in a world with limited resources; people against pension reform seem to deny that this is even a problem of any sort. So we could shift the arrangement a bit, or we could stick with the status quo and keep schools underfunded because all the money has to go to the retired baby boomers.

  83. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:48 pm:

    For all public sector workers and retirees, click on the following to get the naughty or nice list:

    Of course, my solons are on the nice side.

  84. - leavemypensionalone - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:50 pm:

    Hurry up and sign it so we can get it in the courts!

  85. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:56 pm:

    Geez lol, no I am not getting paid.

    Y’all can scratch off that conspiracy against you, personally.

    - Norseman -,

    Agreed. Phase 2 begins. The courts will get to decide now, and who knows how it may go.

  86. - Retired and fed up - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:56 pm:

    So the Senate takes from me and gives to ADM. Does anyone not understand why I am upset? For 30 years with the State I paid 1% of my income to cover a 3% yearly AAI on my full pension payment and know I will get less than 1/2 of the payment. It comes to under 1.5% of the total.

  87. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:57 pm:

    You’ve been found out, OW. Wow, these guys are quite the sleuths, don’t ya know.

    Scott Walker - tee hee.

  88. - Retired and fed up - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:57 pm:

    that should have been now not know.

  89. - enlightened - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:58 pm:


    Are you being paid to be on here?

  90. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:01 pm:

    Rich, thanks for doing the live blog today. It sure came in handy as the video would not work and I got bumped off the audio a couple of times.

  91. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:04 pm:

    OW, that talk about adult beverages has made me thirsty. A good glass or two of wine would go really good right now.

  92. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:04 pm:

    - enlightened -

    The truth is I am not. Period.

    If you want to believe I am, that is on you.

    I am not. Period. I am embarrassed for you that you made this about me, when this important vote took place.

    Feel better?

  93. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:04 pm:

    Tracy, Senger, and Brady all stood up and voted for compromise, while running for office. Good on them.

  94. - redleg - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:06 pm:

    Gov Quinn: “Today, we have won.
    “The people of Illinois have won.

    Very charming Pat. Nothing like making a voting block feel good about being mugged.

  95. - DuPage Dave - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:06 pm:

    Thieves, one and all. Any understanding of the English language says Article XII Section 5 forbids the action just taken. But God only knows what the court will say. They are made from the same cloth as the other thieves.

  96. - Stuff happens - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:09 pm:

    Tom, I am totally serious.

    Fund the schools, but punish everyone. The pensioners are an easy target because they’re the ones the money was ‘borrowed’ from.

  97. - Buster - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:12 pm:

    To Those who Voted for the Contract- Busting Rip-off:

    See you in court.

    Remember you at the polling place.

    Forget you for donations.

  98. - Retired and fed up - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:18 pm:

    When I was sworn in as an attorney the oath to uphold the laws and Constitution of the State of Illinois meant something to me, but apparently not to many of Illinois’ State Senators and reps. The 1% payment on total salary for a 3% AAI on the entire pension benefit was an offer made to me and which I accepted and paid for it for 30 years until age 66. It was a contract that was actually codified in State statute. The Illinois Constitution not only prohibits the diminishment of pensions but also any law that seeks to get out of a contractual obligation. I turned down offers from private firms where I could have made well over 20 times what I did with the State as I was a product of the 60s and decided public service was the route to go knowing that I would never be wealthy but thought I would be ok. I’m now too old to go back to practice and appear to have donated 1% of my salary for 30 years to the State. Maybe I’m wrong and people do care but are just to incompetent to understand that taking away billions from retirees violates the Constitution.

  99. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:19 pm:

    Well, would they have called it for a vote if the
    Dems didn’t think it would pass. Madigan has been counting votes for eons.

    There are plenty of interesting issues left. How will the unions react with respect to those who supported this “reform.” Will a stay be requested immediately? Will the case go directly to the Supremes or to a lower court first? Will the state claim savings in the upcoming fiscal year and how much. What will they do with all that money. Will the schools be seeing a big increase. Or will it go to election year pork. Assuming Quinn will sign, how will the unions handle that, given that he is almost certain to win in 2014. Will they throw their support to, say, Rutherford and risk being on the outs with Quinn for at least one four year term. Or will they simply stay neutral And so forth.

    I’m sorry for the retirees but maybe they will learn something about the importance of advocacy.
    I went down to my senator’s office at the scheduled time and there was hardly anyone there to protest anything. A hundred thousand teachers and others marching on Springfield might have changed this vote. These days, an e-mail or two might not be enough. You have to show up. Especially in a one-party state with an extremely weak opposition.

  100. - leavemypensionalone - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:20 pm:

    How about Tom Cross six months ago he was mad because nothing got passed and practically beat his shoe on his desk. Now all the sudden he runs for statewide office and votes no. Thats phony stuff.

  101. - Tom - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:21 pm:

    Stuff Happens- I’m not sure who “borrowed” money from pensioners or how. But apparently in the next few years all my tax dollars are going into the state pensions while my niece’s school has fire teachers and the state closes libraries and social services like mental health facilities. That doesn’t sound good for anyone either, pensioners included.

  102. - Retired and fed up - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:25 pm:

    Tom, for many years the State shorted pension payments and some years paid nothing to fund other services, set up new programs and expand others without raising taxes. That’s how it was “borrowed”.

  103. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:39 pm:

    Gee Tom, all your money into pensions? And the state is closing libraries? What state is that?

  104. - Buster - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:42 pm:

    Well put, “retired and fed up!”

    Tom, for many years the GA kept your taxes lower than they would have been if they’d been honest enough not to use the pension payments as their slush fund.
    We retirees didn’t kick up much of a fuss because everyone agreed our Constitutionally- guaranteed pensions had to be safe.
    We should have known nothing was beyond our elected representatives when they are irresponsible, shameless and dishonest hypocrites.
    Tom, the next time you see a state retiree you might want to thank them for paying taxes for you during the years our reps were ripping us off. Then we’ll all feel better.

  105. - Tom - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:50 pm:

    What did people think was going to happen? It’s like Illinois corruption is a big new thing that just dropped out of the sky.

    And yes, I’ll thank the state retiree for paying taxes for me. But only if they will thank my former roommate for being laid off from her teaching job in order to protect their pensions.

  106. - eyewitness - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:51 pm:

    So is the House coming back to vote on the ADM welfare bill that the Senate passed?

  107. - AC - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:52 pm:

    I would like to thank the state for their kind offer of a 1% reduction in retirement contributions, in exchange for reductions in my retirement benefits, but I do not accept the consideration being offered. After all, since this is a unilateral contractual change, I have that option, right?

    I would be completely fascinated by the future of this legislation in the courts, if being directly, negatively, impacted didn’t leave me so depressed.

  108. - sovereignfiatmoney - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:56 pm:

    here is a interesting link about Detroit

  109. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:58 pm:

    Anyone know who the unions are going to lawyer up with? County where they’ll file?

  110. - Vinnie - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 5:59 pm:

    The 1% increase we paid for for our COLA through SURS, was decreased because you also qualified for Social Security? How can they not only take part of the COLA you paid for but also give you less because you would receive social security? Shouldn’t we get a refund?

  111. - DuPage - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 6:04 pm:

    Every public employee I know could have easily got higher pay in the private sector. They all took their promised pension as a strong reason to stay on until retirement. No one is going to think that way anymore.

  112. - DuPage - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 6:19 pm:

    Vinnie, THEY probably are thinking the state paid the Social security “match”. In the case of non-Social security employees the state paid nothing. You are correct that 1% was to fund the 3% cola.
    If they had set the cola limit at 3%xyearsx$2000 it would have been more acceptable. The 3%xyearsx$1000 is way too extreme.
    They obviously think the Illinois constitution means nothing, and contract law means nothing. Thus ALL bets are off.

  113. - catrike - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 6:23 pm:

    “Every public employee I know could have easily got higher pay in the private sector.”


  114. - Leave a Light on George - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 6:25 pm:

    Ok so when does this unconstitutional law take effect. Upon the Gov’s signature, Jan. 1 , July1??

  115. - DuPage - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 6:25 pm:

    Now that they have pulled a “grand theft pensions”, my doctor wants to know when he can expect to be paid by Cigna.

  116. - sovereignfiatmoney - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 6:30 pm:

    the Illinois pensions systems lost money during the 2008 financial crisis and the state suffered, it is time that we ask that the federal government help out the states. the federal reserve is now bailing out the banks with Quantitative Easing 3 by creating 85 billion dollars a month with fiat money. 43 billion is for US Bonds and 42 billion is for Derivatives Mortgage-backed securities which are bets on Mortgages. it is the States that provide the goods and services that helps the citizens and the banks and wall street that is buying our elected time to fight back with the truth! Occupy 2.0

  117. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 6:32 pm:

    So if the reduction in retirement benefits portion is found to be unconstitutional, does the reduction in employee contributions to retirement still stand?

  118. - DuPage - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 6:34 pm:

    -catrike-Teachers make slightly more then the average worker in Illinois. 22% of workers in Illinois have a 4 year college degree. 100% of teachers have at least a 4 year college degree.

  119. - Retired and fed up - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 6:39 pm:

    that should have been law firms were.

  120. - Wallendar - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 6:41 pm:

    Dinosaur - we cancelled our Tribune subscription this week. Just used it for doggy papers anyway. Had to back out on a new condo sale after many years of renting. I’m sure the sellers are very disappointed as are we but between the new (and just the beginning of) increase to health care cost and now this pension slash…well, I just don’t feel confident about making major purchases. You know once that beak gets under the tent, who knows how far it will go? Thanks, Mikey.

  121. - Retired and fed up - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 6:51 pm:

    The lawyers will probably be from Freeborn and Peters, who represented the We are One Coalition today. As for county, I don’t have a clue.

  122. - AFSCME Steward - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 7:01 pm:


    Who worked all of their lives paying for the retirement of those before us. Now its my turn. I demand what I’m due.

    “So we could shift the arrangement a bit, or we could stick with the status quo and keep schools underfunded because all the money has to go to the retired baby boomers.”

  123. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 7:08 pm:

    Finally it happened. Laud or hate it–by God, they squeaked it by. Many will call it wonderful–a tremendous victory for the People of Illinois. Many others will simultaneously call it a horrendous setback for us in the Prairie State…

    But the only next important question REALLY is: How will the Illinois Supreme COURT describe it? For although “it ain’t over ’till the Fat Lady sings,” and she has entered the Building and pulled out her sheet of Music, many are insisting she not climb the stairs up to the stage to strike up her Tune just yet–for they have proclaimed clearly all along that THIS issue will NOT be “over” until our Highest COURT decides whether she’ll be allowed to sing or not at all, and, if so, perhaps whether her Song will need to contain some modified Lyrics first…!

  124. - Tom - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 7:09 pm:

    “Who worked all of their lives paying for the retirement of those before us. Now its my turn. I demand what I’m due.”

    Fair enough. But perhaps we should have thought of this before it became a crisis. As it stands, everyone is going to get pinched. You all get reductions, my taxes will continue to rise, and all our services will be cut. And the resulting fewer workers means that the burden will be even heavier than before, heavier than when you were in the workforce, for sure. Guess that doesn’t matter though.

  125. - Retired and fed up - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 7:12 pm:

    It’s possible this could end up in Federal Court due to the U.S. Constitution provision barring States from passing laws which impair contracts so even if Madigan is correct that he has at least 4 members of the ICS ready to approve this it may not be over that soon.

  126. - Retired and fed up - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 7:20 pm:

    Illinois already has the lowest per capita ratio of State employees out of all 50 states and the number of workers has gone down about 15,000 in the last 10 years so I think the people who were shafted today know a lot about heavy workloads. For example, the number of attorneys handling cases against doctor’s licenses for the entire State has gone from 9 to 2 due to the Medical dedicated funds which come from licensing fees being transferred to the General Revenue Fund for other purposes on multiple occasions. You better hope you have a good doctor because it can take years for action to be taken if things go wrong. That’s only one example.

  127. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 7:26 pm:

    I’d file it in Sangamon County. Lots of retirees in that jury pool.

  128. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 7:29 pm:

    =It’s possible this could end up in Federal Court=

    Um, possible yes. Likely, no. As the saying goes “If wishes were fishes, the sea would be full”.

  129. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 7:30 pm:

    =Lots of retirees in that jury pool.=

    I doubt it would be a jury trial. Bench trial more likely.

  130. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 7:33 pm:

    Lost in the scrum of today’s action is this little nugget:

    Pension Lawsuit Defense (SB 1961): Allows only the Attorney General to represent the Teachers Retirement System and the State Universities Retirement System in litigation. Removes the option of the systems’ boards to hire their own outside counsel for litigation. This will assure that if any pension changes are challenged in court, the state will have a consistent and coordinated defense provided by the Attorney General.

  131. - Andrew Szakmary - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 7:41 pm:

    Anonymous, I strongly disagree. If this legislation is upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court, it will most certainly end up in Federal court. Perhaps not the U.S. Supreme Court, at least not initially, but certainly at some level in the Federal courts.

  132. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 7:48 pm:

    =it will most certainly end up in Federal court=

    Yes, you are correct that an appeal likely would be filed in US District Court, but the US Supreme Court would, more likely than not, deny writ of certiorari.

  133. - Retired and fed up - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 8:20 pm:

    Cert might not be denied when the U.S. Constitution has been violated.

  134. - Now What? - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 8:23 pm:

    Sad day, but not a total surprise. For at least three years, public employees knew something was coming. Unions now find themselves in a trick bag: the notion of political donations “for a seat at the table” has gotten them nowhere. I can see IFT/IEA numbers dropping as perhaps more rank and file teachers decide that their union has done nothing but get them SB1, PERA, and other draconian measures simply to have a “seat at the table.” It’s time for unions to reinvent themselves or face death (like everywhere else). A good start would be NO political contributions and a clear message about why unions (specifically teacher unions) still matter.

  135. - Jorge - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 8:26 pm:

    I am so tired of hearing pension crisis. When is every beneficiary or potential beneficiary going to ask for their money at the same time. Those same damn markets that demand for full funding are such hypocrites….look at their love of quantitative easing.

  136. - PJ - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 10:05 pm:

    As always the cronies looking like heros on the backs of all of us hard working State employees. I think it’s high time for a change of the guard. Oh but they’ll retire with a big fat pension, untouched and still whole..Sickening at best.

  137. - RNUG - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 11:00 pm:

    SoxFan5905 - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    Actually, GARS is the worst funded of the 5 systems.

  138. - RNUG - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 11:00 pm:

    Tom - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 7:09 pm:

    Actually, they did think about it and try to do something about it. See IFF(1975). The ISC shut down the unions on their request to force the GA to properly fund the pensions.

  139. - RNUG - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 11:32 pm:

    Been playing catch-up the several hours.

    See it pretty much played out like I expected. Slightly different (higher) vote total in the Senate than I would have guessed, but not significantly so.

    A BIG THANK YOU to my Representative and Senator, both of whom voted against the bill. Because I’ve gotten to know both of you, I expected it … but I will also remember and continue to support you.

    My mental health break today was a better use of my time … spent the day with Mrs. RNUG browsing antique & thrift stores, took the FOLEPI Christmas light drive, and had a good dinner at one of our favorite places, Rhythm Kitchen.

    BTW: thank you to everyone who expressed their appreciation for my ongoing analysis

  140. - RNUG - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 11:33 pm:

    myself Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 11:00 pm:

    typo’ed … the case was IFT(1975)

  141. - One Ocean - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 11:56 pm:

    Thank you RNUG. I have appreciated your opinion and analysis for years.

  142. - One Ocean - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 11:57 pm:

    S long that I actually know what RNUG stands for :-) I am just a NUG.

  143. - redleg - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:04 am:

    Like RNUG, I would like to thank my Representative, Bill Mitchell, for voting against the bill. Tomorrow I am going to walk away from this shameful day and write Mr. Mitchell a personal thank you and drop it in the mail.

    As for my Senator, well, let’s just say that I do not wish him well in his yet another attempt to become Governor. My father was an instrument of Mr. Bill Brady in McLean County when Brady first ran for office, a bit of family history that I am quite ashamed of. He too will be receiving a personal letter and he will never receive support from me or my family again.

  144. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:04 am:


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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