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*** UPDATED x1 - Madigan: “Routine” filing *** AG Madigan may appeal pension ruling to US Supreme Court

Tuesday, Jul 28, 2015

* Amanda Vinicky reports that the Illinois attorney general’s office has filed a request to extend the August 6th deadline to appeal the state Supreme Court’s pension ruling to the top court in the land

[AG Madigan’s] office on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an extension, so it’ll have until Sept. 10 to [file an appeal].

John Fitzgerald, an attorney for retired public school teachers, says they’ll fight it.

“This is entirely a matter of Illinois State Law. There is no basis for the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.”

The Attorney General’s petition says the pension case “raises important questions” about states’ rights to use police powers to modify contracts, like public pensions.

“The principal questions presented are (1) whether the reserved powers doctrine prevents a State from abdicating its police powers authority to modify its own contractual obligations in extreme circumstances that imperil the general welfare and (2) if not, whether the Illinois Supreme Court identified the correct standard by which the validity of a State’s exercise of its police power is judged.”

Discuss.

*** UPDATE *** From the AG’s office…

We have asked for an extension of the deadline to file a cert petition, which is a fairly routine request. With the decision in the City of Chicago’s pension case late last week, we are continuing to consider all of the arguments and the best next step.

Doesn’t sound like any final decisions have been made.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

139 Comments
  1. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 8:51 am:

    This is an Illinois issue, not a national one. I can’t imagine the U.S. Supreme Court even agreeing to hear the case.


  2. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 8:51 am:

    Just. Pay. It.


  3. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 8:52 am:

    I hope they’ll have nothing to do with it. When will it all end?


  4. - Frenchie Mendoza - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 8:53 am:


    When will it all end?

    When the USSC smacks it down.

    And the lawyers get paid.


  5. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 8:54 am:

    “Avast, matey! Behold a second white whale be near! We’ll slay em both even if it take our last breath!


  6. - Interested Party - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 8:55 am:

    I believe the SCOTUS has already declined to hear scores of pension cases. The cases they have heard have upheld pensions based on the Contracts clause in the US Constitution.


  7. - Anon - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 8:57 am:

    If one reviews other court cases regarding clarifications for a state’s obligations to pay it’s debts, if the Supreme Court took this case it would be to effectively clarify that police powers do not trump other portions of the constitution and likely make the observation that the State could use it’s authority granted in it’s constitution to raises revenue through levy or other means.

    I guess some people just won’t be happy until they get something in writing from the State’s highest court that says “What did you guys think would happen when you were paying a 2% income tax?”


  8. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 8:59 am:

    ==What did you guys think would happen when you were paying a 2% income tax?”

    And rifling through the money intended for one party but spent on other parties?


  9. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:01 am:

    “==What did you guys think would happen when you were paying a 2% income tax?”
    And rifling through the money intended for one party but spent on other parties?”

    or as the ISC has already explicitly said “an emergency of your own making.”


  10. - Stones - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:01 am:

    Seems like a reckless political move by Lisa Madigan. Frankly, I’m surprised.


  11. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:02 am:

    This is laughable if not sad. The state in large part brought the emergency upon itself by engaging in irresponsible fiscal practices, and by coddling taxpayers for so long with income tax rates that were too low. When we raised the income tax in 2011, we were responsibly paying the pensions.


  12. - Just me - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:05 am:

    How sad. She had such promise in her first few years. Career over.


  13. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:07 am:

    Perhaps a political move to stall movement on any new pension legislation?


  14. - Joe Biden Was Here - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:08 am:

    I hope this turns out not to be true. It would be a waste of time and a blot on Lisa Madigan’s reputation.


  15. - phocion - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:10 am:

    The Lisa bashing here is pathetic. Her duties are to defend the State of Illinois and the laws that it enacts. If she was hired to defend only laws that unions like, she wouldn’t be performing her constitutional duties. The Supreme Court seldom grants certiori to cases that come before it, but this may be one time it does due to the number of public pensions that are in trouble across the nation. Oh, and the income tax in Illinois has been 3%, not 2%.


  16. - Davos Seaworth - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:10 am:

    =Seems like a reckless political move by Lisa Madigan. Frankly, I’m surprised.=

    Agreed. Ask Quinn how focusing on pension reform impacted his “true” reelection campaign.


  17. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:12 am:

    ===Career over. ===

    LOL

    You government workers really have a high opinion of your political powers.

    Might I remind you of the 2014 GOP primary that you lost and the fall campaign?

    She had a higher percentage of the vote last time than any other statewide candidate except Jesse White.


  18. - Stones - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:14 am:

    Phocion - You are indeed correct that her duties are to defend the State of Illinois and the laws that in enacts. It seems to me she has already performed her constitutional duties by bringing the matter before the Illinois Supreme Court. Nothing suggests that she needs to appeal this to the SCOTUS. I would argue it’s a further waste of the taxpayer’s money.


  19. - Me too - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:16 am:

    Why, when she could have just dropped it, is she continuing to fight it? I just don’t see any political or other gain from doing so.


  20. - Percival - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:17 am:

    I agree that this move is politically sound. The public doesn’t want to pay the pensions, so any move to avoid it looks good to them. Plus, she can’t be faulted for taking the issue as far as possible. In fact, not appealing may have brought on unpleasant questions.


  21. - phocion - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:20 am:

    Stones, an attorney’s duty is to vigorously represent their client. Under your logic, the AG could have just stopped with the Appellate Court decision. Let her do her job.

    Rich, how many IP addresses on this thread from the State of Illinois or public sector unions. Other than mine and yours, I’d guess all of them.


  22. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:20 am:

    @Phocion- Illinois’ rate was 2.5% from 1969-1982.

    My guess is the USSC will not take up the issue, there does not seem to be an interest here and the ILSC was very clear.

    I wish Lisa would let it go, but she is the AG and has the call on this one.


  23. - middle class - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:21 am:

    I hope Madigan does appeal to the US Supreme court. If she does, you can bet on the fact that virtually every state employee, family member and friend will contribute at least $50 to her political opponents. Do the math: $50 x 70,000 state employees =$3,500,000 plus another $25 from their 20,000 close family and friends = $500,000. That makes about 90,000 votes and $4,000,000 from angry, ailenated democrat middle class working families against team Madigan.

    As Clint Eastwood so famously said….”go ahead….make my day”.


  24. - downstate commissioner - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:22 am:

    This time, I agree with the negative comments. Why appeal it? Why spend the money to appeal it? Why risk the political capital? Seems like a silly move to me, and I have no dog in this fight…


  25. - Tha missin g - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:22 am:

    Maybe tax payers are tired of payin’ for high priced lawyers to fight battles that cannot be won?


  26. - Gruntled University Employee - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:22 am:

    Maybe, just maybe, this is an attempt to settle the matter once and for all. When the ILSC issued this ruling, most rational people understood that the pensions were untouchable. However, there are still some irrational people in our Government that are attempting to go back to that dry well for another dip. A ruling from the SCOTUS should put the final nail in that coffin, hopefully, averting several more years of uncertainty and costly litigation.


  27. - Downstate - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:22 am:

    —–You government workers really have a high opinion of your political powers—–

    Wait!! There are government workers on this board?!

    Actually, I do appreciate the give and take of the board, and the opportunity to read everyone’s thoughts.


  28. - Percival - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:23 am:

    I think government workers are blind to the growing anger in the public over government pensions. Just say “retirement at 53 with pension” to any private sector taxpayer with no pension and watch the reaction.


  29. - Archiesmom - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:24 am:

    I am with Stones 9:14. Although it may be technically appealable to SCOTUS, I can’t imagine they would take it. Seems to be a waste of time and money.


  30. - jdcolombo - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:25 am:

    I am very surprised, because there is zero chance the US Supreme Court takes this case. It was decided purely on the ILSC’s interpretation of the state constitution, and did not involve any interpretation of federal law. In short, no federal question. It may well be that the ILSC interpreted contract clause protections more expansively than the SCOTUS would have interpreted the federal contracts clause, but that is irrelevant in this case because the federal contracts clause was not at issue in the opinion. It will be interesting to see if the SCOTUS even grants the extension. They may not.


  31. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:25 am:

    SSM, Phocion


  32. - Triple fat - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:25 am:

    Rich - True, true but the very thought of arguing police powers before the Supreme Court considering the majority’s anti-Union disposition, makes me think (hope) she is just posturing. She may not be… And fellow state workers if she does proceed, I don’t see any result that will benefit us.


  33. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:25 am:

    ===you can bet on the fact that virtually every state employee===

    I want whatever you’re smoking.

    Are you seriously that daft?


  34. - Michael Westen - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:26 am:

    Whatever middle class is smoking, I want some.


  35. - Very Fed Up - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:27 am:

    Not hard to see how someone like Rauner gets elected in a very blue state. Especially as one tax after another will get raised in the next year to fund these pensions.


  36. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:27 am:

    Is she nuts?

    The 1% would LOVE to get a case like this in front of SCOTUS in the faint hope they could gut all pensions everywhere.


  37. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:28 am:

    ==Her duties (as shown by her past actions) are to defend the State of Illinois (when she decides it’s in her interest to do so) and the laws that it enacts (that she wants to push). ==

    Fixed that for you


  38. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:28 am:

    == You government workers really have a high opinion of your political powers.

    Might I remind you of the 2014 GOP primary that you lost and the fall campaign? ==

    Well if the folks who comment here were the complete electorate, than yeah anything that had a negative impact on a government employee would be the end of one’s political career.

    But that isn’t the wider world.


  39. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:29 am:

    She has pursued all of the logical “next steps”. This one is the only next step available. On her own, or with counsel, or a combination of both, she recognizes the seriousness of the impending lack of funding to support these payments. She could very well be averting a much greater crisis down the road. The ISC has followed the Illinois Constitution, that is not in dispute. The SC considers the 50 states to be laboratories for the Federal Government. The SC could absolutely rule that the Illinois Constitution is in error with this level of protection. Or not.

    This could likely be argued as an attempt to force a tax increase upon citizens for reckless government. Looking at all of the forms of taxation that Illinoisans face, it could be hardly argued (as has often been done here) that Illinois residents are under-taxed.

    She’s asking for an extension. That might be enough to cause some legislative action. What an interesting scenario that is.


  40. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:31 am:

    ==one tax after another will get raised in the next year to fund these pensions==

    Damn straight. Shouldn’t have taken the money in the first place. Repay, however it happens. Artificially low taxes in this state for way too long.


  41. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:31 am:

    I think government workers are blind to the growing anger in the public over government pensions.

    We;;, with Madigans on their left and Rauners on their right, they have few friends in high places to turn to…except the rule of law, which was correctly interpreted by the ISC. I am not disappointed by the effort by Lisa and others to clarify what is allowed under the law, but at some point it becomes an effort in frivolity where the attorneys’ meter still runs, the taxpayers still pay, and a comprehensive solution to restructure and pay the debt down is kicked down the road another few months.


  42. - Just a lawyer ... - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:32 am:

    State Supreme Courts have final word on the meaning and interpretation of state constitutions. The only exception is where a State constitution denies a citizen a federal right.

    Here, the only right at issue is team Madigan’s unfettered power, which is Not a constitutionally protected right under the federal constitution.

    But of course….team Madigan might see it differently


  43. - Huh? - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:33 am:

    I don’t have a problem with the appeal to the USSC. The potential payoff is huge if she is successful. The downside is manageable.

    On the up side, if the appeal is successful, Ms. Madigan can say she saved the State $100 million.

    If the appeal is unsuccessful, she can say she did everything she could to save the State $100 million.

    Please remember Ms. Madigan has a vested interest in the pension system. Her pension can get reduced if her appeal is successful.


  44. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:37 am:

    =This could likely be argued as an attempt to force a tax increase upon citizens for reckless government.=

    True- reckless government. Other descriptions work, but reckless ain’t bad.

    The “citizens accepted that recklessness for far too long though and benefited from it in the form of lower taxes. The citizens also include the very same people that the “reformers” are trying to stick it too as well.

    =Looking at all of the forms of taxation that Illinoisans face, it could be hardly argued (as has often been done here) that Illinois residents are under-taxed.=

    I always get the feeling that if people felt like they were getting a value for their tax dollars their anger would be less.

    Additionally the American pysche has always been one that loathes taxation and believes that we have been over taxed- going back to the colonial era. We want the services but do not want to pay for them.


  45. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:38 am:

    Why not appeal, odds are the court will not hear it than it is done, if they do hear it than one way or another, it is done.


  46. - Nldev - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:38 am:

    The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create. Government workers, however, don’t generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money. When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers. F.D.R. considered this “unthinkable and intolerable.”
    Public sector unions insist on laws that serve their interests — at the expense of the common good.


  47. - A Jack - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:38 am:

    At first glance, I was disappointed by this too, but I think its probably a good idea to have the U.S. Supreme Court shoot this pension reform down. Also since it may be years before the case is heard or not taken, it will take the pension issue effectively off the GA’s agenda. Really this is kind of a kick in the shin to the Governor’s pension reform agenda. Why take up new reform, while this one is still being argued?


  48. - walker - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:40 am:

    Phocian: Relax. Commenters here are from a pretty wide range. You don’t have to be a government union member to have certain political views.


  49. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:41 am:

    As others have noted, the chances of the U.S. Supreme Court taking this case are ZERO. There is no federal issue. There are adequate state grounds for the decision.

    Lisa could credibly argue that defending the pension bill to the Illinois Supreme Court, even though uphill, was her duty. She could credibly argue that litigating the requirement that funds not be spent without an appropriation was her duty.

    There is, however, no basis whatsoever for this appeal. Her job is not to defend state statutes no matter how hopeless or frivolous her claim. She does have to exercise judgment.

    Even asking for an extension for the time for cert. is a nakedly political act, with no legal justification.


  50. - cdog - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:46 am:

    There might be another angle here.
    Maybe the brilliant Lisa Lioness wants to create a SCOTUS level precedent that the Lizzie Borden defense is not in the arsenal of governments wanting to gut contracts.

    If they take the case, side with plaintiff, it’s done.


  51. - Anon - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:47 am:

    “Please remember Ms. Madigan has a vested interest in the pension system. Her pension can get reduced if her appeal is successful.”

    I am sure Ms. Madigan will depend just as much on her pension as a $40K a year elementary school teacher from a poor district.

    Good to know that Nldev has keen personal knowledge of the early 20th century & 19th century labor organizer thoughts were.

    FDR! You mean that guy who threw Japanese citizens in internment camps for terrible reasons (no such treatment for German or Italian Americans, I wonder why that was), FDR was not always right.


  52. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:48 am:

    I dont get the legal basis for this. scotus doesnt issue advisory opinions and not sure what federal concern is at stake? what “reserved powers doctrine” are they talking about? the tenth amendment?

    this statement is clear as mud.


  53. - Blago's Luxurious Grey Mane - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:49 am:

    I really hope Lisa runs for something else. She needs new challenges.

    Her payroll including the huge payment to the employee who works “from home” (out of state), the massive raises to her patronage staff, cherry-picking what she will defend and when; meanwhile, absolutely ZERO focus on public corruption.

    In the case of College of DuPage’s extraordinary contract extension, a citizen filed a complaint that the raise and extension violated the Open Meetings Act. Lisa’s office missed it, and the complaint was only addressed years later when it was too late.

    Today’s SJ-R has a well written op ed about citizen’s inability to get any assistance with a consumer complaint.

    She will never be beaten, but she’s been in this office too long. I used to believe she would make a fine jurist, but now I question her judgment.

    As usual, RNUG nails it — Lisa, do you really want to give the opportunity to the Roberts Court to gut all public pensions? I’ve looked at your D-2s — will all those unions still write those big checks?


  54. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:50 am:

    “virtually every state employee, family member and friend will contribute at least $50 to her political opponents.”

    I am a state employee and aside from ONE $20 contribution to an acquaintance who ran, unsuccessfully, for state rep years ago, I have never donated a single dime to ANY political candidate and likely never will again. And even if I could be persuaded to contribute to a political campaign, I would never give $50 as that is still a lot of money to me. I’m sure many other state employees feel the same way.


  55. - Anon. - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:50 am:

    They can’t even state the question correctly. The second issue is relevant only if the “reserved powers” doctrine does prohibit States from abdicating their police powers. If it does not, then there is no basis for the US SC to second-guess the IL SC on the issue of whether the pension clause trumps any police powers.


  56. - Cook County Commoner - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:50 am:

    In the event SCOTUS takes the case, I suspect that the ruling denying the state’s petition, of course embellished somewhat, will reflect one of the bedrock principles of common law commonly stated as: “You made your bed, now lie in it.”

    The embellishments could include relevant facts such as: the danger was open and obvious for decades and the voters were apathetic to the danger. The opinion could serve as guidance to other states approaching fiscal meltdown.

    In my view, an appeal to Christine Lagarde at the IMF is more advisable.


  57. - Slippin' Jimmy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:53 am:

    “With the decision in the City of Chicago’s pension case late last week, we are continuing to consider all of the arguments and the best next step.”

    The ISC decision seemed clear enough to me. There is one way, pay what you owe! How is up to you smart folks…..


  58. - W.S. Wolcott - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:02 am:

    LOL

    You government workers really have a high opinion of your political power. Might I remind you of the 2014 GOP primary that you lost and the fall campaign?

    She had a higher percentage of the vote last time than any other statewide candidate except Jesse White.

    Ouch…


  59. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:03 am:

    1. AG Madigan is our chief legal officer. She has the discretion to pursue whichever cases she pleases.

    2. She already has staff who handle such high-level casework, so unless outside counsel is brought in then the “cost” of such litigation would already be rolled into her operating budget.

    3. Where else can she go? All avenues have been exhausted. I hearken back to #1: if this is what she wishes to pursue, then attempting to bring the matter before SCOTUS is the end game.

    4. This would set an interesting precedent, and it makes me wonder if Arizona and New Jersey would also take their cases to SCOTUS.


  60. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:04 am:

    == Phocian: Relax. Commenters here are from a pretty wide range. You don’t have to be a government union member to have certain political views. ==

    Yes, but I would suspect, statistically there is a significantly higher % of state and local government employees here than in the general population, like several times higher.

    If you add in those who work for entities that derive more than 50% of their revenue from government contracts, even higher.

    It’s not a bad, thing, but it is what it is.


  61. - Hit or Miss - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:09 am:

    I see the pension issue that Illinois has as being an Illinois issue and not related to the nation as a whole. The possible appeal looks to me to be more for political reasons than for legal ones. If the appeal is made it will just extend the problem rather than solve the problem. The powers in Springfield just need to understand that it is time pay for the pensions with cash rather than empty promises.


  62. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:09 am:

    This is a prank, right?

    @Steve Schnorf and @Stones nail it.


  63. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:10 am:

    “Especially as one tax after another will get raised in the next year to fund these pensions”

    Taxes were cut/lowered by 25% after first judge ruled pensioin bill was unconstitutional.


  64. - a drop in - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:16 am:

    “you can bet on the fact that virtually every state employee, family member and friend will contribute at least $50 to her political opponents”

    Yeah, support the Rauner picked Republican candidate who will probably enthusiastically support Rauner’s agenda. Tell me how well that will work for you.


  65. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:27 am:

    ==this statement is clear as mud==

    Because it is nonsense.


  66. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:31 am:

    ==Doesn’t sound like any final decisions have been made.==

    Except for multiple, unanimous decisions by the Illinois Supreme Court. The Constitutional Convention records indicate some clear, final decisions encoded in the Constitution as well.

    Not that those should influence the AG’s thinking or anything. /s


  67. - CrazyHorse - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:35 am:

    ==Just say “retirement at 53 with pension” to any private sector taxpayer with no pension and watch the reaction.==

    I agree on the reaction part largely because of the news exposures of double dippers, and the people who received pensions after being substitute teachers for a day, etc. Most of the state workforce shares the public reaction when those stories emerge.

    Retirement at 53 is a nice story as well. I’m sure quite a few people who started working for the state at 18 or 19 and put in 33+ yrs could do it. The majority of people I know can retire at 55 or so and get a 50% pension but most can’t afford the cut and will be working until they are at least 60 or later and still will only get around 60%.

    I’m not complaining by any means but I’ll have children in college and can’t afford to retire. I’m sure a few people without kids or the more financially savvy gang can pull it off but those guys would pull it off in the private sector as well.

    I just remember the days not so long ago that my friends boasted about the ungodly sums of money they had in their 401ks. They laughed at my pension. All of a sudden 2008 hit, many 401ks got crushed, and government workers and their pensions became responsible for creating cancer. Can’t have it both ways.


  68. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:37 am:

    Well said Crazy Horse.


  69. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:41 am:

    I don’t think she’ll be successful, but this is hardly an irrational act. The Democrats hold most political power in the state, and they want to raise income taxes-a lot. Plus, Chicago is almost certainly going to have to raise property taxes. Fearing blowback from citizens reading about various exotic pension deals, mostly for high-level members of the state’s massive education bureaucracy, pols are trying to demonstrate that they did everything they could to cut the pensions for all state govt pensioners, present and future.

    When the Sct refuses the case, voters can be told, we did absolutely everything we could–now, hand over your money. Lots of it.


  70. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:47 am:

    ==Plus, Chicago is almost certainly going to have to raise property taxes.==

    Chicagoans are likely about to experience a quadruple whammy. City, County and State tax increases, along with their property reassessments this year.

    As Chicago has the largest concentration of Democratic voters in the state, that could put a damper on things come 2016.


  71. - foster brooks - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:47 am:

    Everyone who thinks state employees are united look at the last election. Quite a few voted for rauner or stayed home.


  72. - Tired - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:48 am:

    Really Lisa? Haven’t you done enough? Didn’t the court clearly rule that Illinois has to pay Illinois pensions? Let this go. NOW


  73. - Federalist - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:54 am:

    The Madigans are showing their true colors.

    And while I try not to connect the father and daughter to every little thing I have no doubt in my mind that they have discussed this behind the scenes.


  74. - Soccertease - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:56 am:

    ===You government workers really have a high opinion of your political powers.===

    Agree that this decision won’t necessarily be her demise, her career path will be tied more to how Mike M survives the current budget impasse vs Rauner. Hard for her to separate herself from MM.


  75. - nixit71 - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:00 am:

    ==Artificially low taxes in this state for way too long.==

    Finally, someone agrees that taxing retirement income is the way to go. After all, retirees are the ones that benefited from those “artificially low taxes in this state for way too long.”


  76. - Enviro - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:01 am:

    == pols are trying to demonstrate that they did everything they could to cut the pensions==

    I agree with Cassandra. The anti-tax increase people need more proof that the underfunding of pensions scam is OVER.

    The SCOTUS will provide this proof for them.


  77. - Federalist - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:02 am:

    Will it ruin her political career if she files? It should but it probably won’t. Everybody resents everybody else who seems to have more. And in the public’s mind state employees make more and have better pensions if they only have SS.

    The question is, where is she going next in her political career. As AG she, I believe can continue to win. But if she runs for Governor it may be different depending on how future political evens turn out. Many possibilities.

    People at all levels really are tired of the Madigans. And if she files this lawsuit the unions will not forget or forgive her. On the other had the Republicans can run a bad candidate?


  78. - Gone, but not forgotten - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:04 am:

    Oh Lisa. Aren’t there any more rubber baby buggy bumpers that need investigation? Quit trying to justify your job and let it go, rather than being frozen in this fight and waste more money. Why not look into something more meaningful, such as Illinois laws concerning sanctuary cities or Illinois involvement in any Planned Parenthood facility in Illinois selling baby parts?


  79. - JB - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:11 am:

    On one hand, it appears we have Lisa Madigan still hoping that the courts will allow police powers to trash the US and Illinois Constitutions. And on the other hand it sounds like the Governor is considering having the Illinois National Guard run state government in case there is a state employees strike.
    Unbelievable! Does our Governor, the State Attorney General, and our legislators want to turn this State into what resembles a “third-world-nation?” A state run by the military and police to benefit the rich and powerful It sure sounds like we are on that path


  80. - Federalist - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:13 am:

    nixit71 - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:00 am:

    ==Artificially low taxes in this state for way too long.==

    Finally, someone agrees that taxing retirement income is the way to go. After all, retirees are the ones that benefited from those “artificially low taxes in this state for way too long.

    There are around $8.9 billion in taxes that could be collected if ALL presnet exemptions were taxed. Why not tax it all and have a much lower tax rate and lower the rate back to 2.5% for individuals and 4.0% for businesses. Bet that type of across the board REFORM would make a lot of non-state employees squeal.

    Going after retirement income is just another example of people who resent state employees.


  81. - Federalist - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:15 am:

    Interesting that Lisa Madigan is interested in ’states’ rights’

    She might want to remember that in the future. But I doubt it.


  82. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    Ah, coming to Dad’s rescue…


  83. - Almost the Weekend - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    AFSCME should spend more time knocking on doors than commenting on capfax posts. Already threatening to defeat Lisa Madigan for AG, when their worst enemy is already governor. Keep burning every bridge AFSCME it’s paid off the past three years.

    I would love to see Lisa Madigan run for gov in 2018 just to see what AFSCME would do.

    On a more serious note I have a question regarding if SCOTUS has jurisdiction to make a ruling on this case. Would the only way SCOTUS can have an opinion on the matter is if federal funds were involved in the past to help make pension payments for Illinois state employees? To anybody’s knowledge have federal funds ever been used for pension payments for State workers in the past or in any other state?


  84. - The Dude Abides - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:31 am:

    @Cassandra, I think you might be close on your reasoning. There will be some upset people once the taxes are raised. The Democrats will say that they tried to do everything they could do to avoid a tax increase, even appealing the pension ruling to the SCOTUS. The ISC made a ruling based on how they interpreted a clause in the State Constitution. It would be very unusual for the SCOTUS to involve themselves in this and I will be surprised if they even take the case.


  85. - redleg - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:32 am:

    As a retiree, I’m not surprised by this news and I doubt most retirees are either.

    Either the AG office knows something we don’t know or it’s purely political. I wouldn’t bet for or against neither one.

    Like RNUG and a few others have stated here, my self-imposed austerity measures will continue with no end in sight for the foreseeable future. Not complaining, just being careful.


  86. - nixit71 - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:33 am:

    ==Going after retirement income is just another example of people who resent state employees.==

    I never said tax just state employees. Tax 401ks and pensions equally. Exempt SS since taxes were already paid on that black hole of a benefit while working.


  87. - Enviro - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:36 am:

    == To anybody’s knowledge have federal funds ever been used for pension payments for State workers in the past or in any other state?==

    No federal funds for pension payments for state workers… but billions for bailouts for Wall Street bankers who caused the great recession.


  88. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:54 am:

    Do it constitutional rights are not universal to everyone?


  89. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:55 am:

    Wisconsin recently had the best funded pensions in the country. How about that? The birthplace of AFSCME and a state with deep union history has been fiscally responsible.

    http://m.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/states-pension-is-strongest-in-nation-study-finds-bc5s0t0-160191165.html

    Illinois’ average state income tax for individuals was 2.75%, between 1969-2010. Wisconsin’s top state income tax rate is something like 7.75%. I think it’s been this high or close to it for years. Fiscal.Responsibility.


  90. - Percival - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:56 am:

    Crazy Horse, I recall the Cook County Sheriffs making the huge pension concession that they would move the minimum retirement age from 52 to 53, and that only that after an argument. I don’t know anybody in the private sector who can retire at 53 with a 50% pension as they pick up a second career. I can’t rebut your anecdotal evidence, but I don’t know too many people who are not expecting to work to 65 or 70. And yes, private sector people can begin working at 18 and work to 65, which is 47+ years, so cry me a river.


  91. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:58 am:

    ==@Cassandra, I think you might be close on your reasoning. There will be some upset people once the taxes are raised. The Democrats will say that they tried to do everything they could do to avoid a tax increase, even appealing the pension ruling to the SCOTUS.==

    It would explain the stubborn pursuit of something so plainly unconstitutional, particularly with the quadruple whammy of taxes coming on the Chicago Dem voter base.

    Unfortunately, if that is true, it raises the question of collusion on behalf of the AG rather than using her independent judgment. That seems difficult to consider, logical as it may be right now.


  92. - Beatgrunt - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:02 pm:

    Taxing retirement income is not going to fly. Why because they can just tax the 42g a year teacher pension they would have to tax everyones 401k k. That includes everyone including the 1%ers. Has Madigan or Rauner even mentioned it as an option? No. The same people demanding to tax retirement income now as a pension hater will be @:$&*@* someday when their 401k is taxed. The millionaires tax would have a better chance of passing but can’t be done without changing the tax code.


  93. - Federalist - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:07 pm:

    - nixit71

    “Exempt SS since taxes were already paid on that black hole of a benefit while working.”

    But any amount earned over what was contributed could be taxed and that includes the employer contribution. Still for it. And how would all of this affect you personally since you broached it?

    Notice no comment about the $8.9 billion in ‘lost’ taxes due to exemptions. I assume you would like that taxed as well.


  94. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:12 pm:

    If @Cassandra’s reasoning is correct, and it may be, then the AG will have to provide a much better explanation for her single-minded pursuit of this.

    Is it because she really still believes this pension theft is Constitutional, despite the plain language and unanimous verdicts of the court? Or is it because doing so helps support a more partisan case?

    I would usually dismiss such thinking, but in a case where the constitutional language and court verdicts are so clear and one-sided, something is irrational about insisting on pursuit of this or even contemplating it to the point of filing for this extension. Just drop it.


  95. - Federalist - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:13 pm:

    Unlike many others I will put this out there on the line.

    1. Tax ALL deductions.
    2. Reduce tax rate back to 2.5% and 4.0%
    3. Tax all pensions 401k’s etc etc.
    4. Then for retirees 65 and older exempt the amount paid in state taxes by the amount one paid in additional state taxes as well as 50% of all property taxes. (This would encourage people to stay in the state- at least for those who pay additional state income tax and have much a property tax bill.)

    Run honest numbers and see if they match the present taxes paid by individuals and corporations.

    let’s see how it comes out and have a serious discussion.


  96. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:16 pm:

    If taking this final (fruitless IMO) step gets our fearless leaders closer to a real solution (revenue), I’m all for it.

    And there’s no direct cost to this, other than maybe some court costs. AG staff are paid the same regardless of what case they’re working on. The cost is the opportunity cost of not working on something else.


  97. - Steve - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:20 pm:

    As a matter of law, the U.S. Supreme Court has ZERO jurisdiction on this case. This is about the Illinois State Constitution. Period. The U.S. Supreme Court shouldn’t even consider taking the case.


  98. - olddog - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:26 pm:

    @ middle class 9:21 am === … angry, ailenated democrat middle class working families against team Madigan.”

    Your partisan talking points will gain credibility if you learn the parts of speech. “Democrat” is a noun. (It’s capitalized, too.) They’ll still be partisan talking points, but you’ll sound literate.


  99. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:28 pm:

    “I recall the Cook County Sheriffs making the huge pension concession that they would move the minimum retirement age from 52 to 53…I don’t know anyone in the private sector who can retire at 53″

    Could it be because you don’t know any private sector police officers? :-) It seems to me that, generally, the vast majority of state/local employees who retire and start collecting pensions that early are police or firefighters. That is NOT a common practice among “average” state workers.


  100. - Mama - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:38 pm:

    Did the governor ask L. Madigan to appeal the ISC ruling to the US Supreme Court?


  101. - Truthteller - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:47 pm:

    Someone should ask Ms Madigan if she thought the SCOTUS was correct in taking Gore vs Bush. At the time folks thought they would never take it and then thought they’d decline to intervene.She must be hoping for another Gore vs Bush. She’s certainly showing her true colors as an enemy of teachers and other public servants


  102. - foster brooks - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:49 pm:

    As said on fred klonskys blog they will never stop coming after state pensions. If this fails at scotus look for the Republicans in 2017 try to ammend the US constitution and allow states to declare bankruptcy. …dont think its posible? Ask Jeb Bush


  103. - Fr. Murphy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:53 pm:

    Percival:
    *Just say “retirement at 53 with pension” to any private sector taxpayer with no pension and watch the reaction.*
    What does age have to do with it? After working 35 years - if early retirement was offered to you -you would turn it down? Not bloodly likely.


  104. - Ghost - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:57 pm:

    This raises so very big legal issues other then just paychecks. A decision like this impacts a lot of the current negotiations with afscme and the future of how the state can address fiscal shortfalls. This is about a lot more the. Paychecks


  105. - redleg - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 1:19 pm:

    Sort of odd that this news comes along when the deflationary pin busts the commodities. Anyone who isn’t all in one cash has been hurt really bad this year and particularly this last six days. I have to believe the state has been hurt too.

    Some ammunition for the AG’s argument?


  106. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 1:25 pm:

    == Exempt SS since taxes were already paid on that black hole of a benefit while working. ==

    If you are going to use that logic for exempting SS, then you need to include Roth IRAs since those are funded with after tax money also.

    What about bonds that are bought with after tax money for retirement; will you exempt their interest earnings?

    What do you do about people, like teachers, who were (and are) legally forbidden to participate in SS? Seems there would be a legal claim of unfair and inequitable treatment that could be made.

    If you are going to exempt SOME retirement income, then it might be better to just set a fixed level that would be exempt from taxation, say the amount of the average pension in Illinois or the average amount of SS being received in the State, and index it to be adjusted annually. That approach would be much more likely to withstand a court challenge … since it seems that is the only way Illinois can accomplish anything these days.


  107. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 1:30 pm:

    And remember, the minute you remove the constitutional protection and open the door to bust valid contracts using police powers, nothing, absolutely nothing, of a contractual nature is guaranteed anymore. That change is so huge I can’t begin to describe all the effects. If contracts are no longer valid, it could literally be the end of capitalism.


  108. - UIC Guy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 1:39 pm:

    Does anyone have any idea of a time-line here? Assuming the extension is granted, when would SCOTUS make a decision on granting cert?


  109. - Stones - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 1:40 pm:

    RNUG-

    Thank you for making a very valid and important point. Why would anyone want to enter into a contract with the State if that agreement can simply be voided by invoking “police powers”? What about huge, long term agreements such as the Skyway or parking meter deal in Chicago? Can the State simply renig on the agreement and repay some prorated amount? I think everyone needs to pause to consider the consequences of such an action.


  110. - former southerner - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 1:56 pm:

    RNUG succinctly states that these silly little games, which may be entertaining to some in the state, are potentially quite dangerous. The Supreme Court justices in IL, not drawn from one monolithic political persuasion, were unanimous in their disdain for this circus. The paucity of dignified adult thought and behavior throughout Illinois government leadership is embarrassing and at the very core of our state’s suboptimal performance.


  111. - benniefly2 - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:19 pm:

    It doesn’t matter whether the AG appeals or not or what the AG’s intentions for that appeal are.

    There are only two things people have to do in order to not have to pay Illinois State and municipal workers the pensions the pensions they are owed.

    First you have to amend the US Constitution to specifically exclude public pensions (and probably only public pensions) from the contract clause. This will require a 2/3 majority vote in both the House and the Senate and then have to be ratified by 38 States. The 27th amendment only took 202 years to get ratified, so that can take a while.

    Once that gets done (if ever), then

    2) Change the Constitution of the State of Illinois so that it no longer says that pensions may not be diminished or impaired.

    Anything short of that and we the people of the great State of Illinois are going to have to pay the State and Municipal owners what we owe them. If you do part 2 before part 1, we are still going to have to pay them what they are owed due to the contract clause of the US Constitution and the fact that the Illinois Constitution specifically called pension obligations a contract.


  112. - Mama - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:24 pm:

    What is wrong with paying people what they are owed?


  113. - forwhatitsworth - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:28 pm:

    === The public doesn’t want to pay the pensions, so any move to avoid it looks good to them. ===

    What does the “PUBLIC” want to pay for? Does the public want laws to protect everything that goes with living in a civilized society, or should some people be allowed to pick and choose what they personally want to pay for and what they don’t want to pay for? … My kids are done with public schools, I don’t want to pay property taxes anymore! My kids are done with park district programs, I don’t want to pay taxes for my community’s park district operations anymore. I don’t drive on the vast majority of roads in Illinois, I only want to pay for the upkeep of the roads that I drive on.


  114. - redleg - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:41 pm:

    What forwhatitsworth said @2:28pm.

    As rapidly as everything is changing, where do you draw the line at what people don’t want to pay for anymore?


  115. - AnonymousOne - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:02 pm:

    Follow up on forwhatitsworth==

    I can boil my own water too. I don’t want to pay for the process the city charges me. And Lord knows, I don’t want to pay those pensions for the city water people. Probably handle my own garbage disposal and sewage too. No one gets my money!!!


  116. - nixit71 - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:20 pm:

    ==What do you do about people, like teachers, who were (and are) legally forbidden to participate in SS? Seems there would be a legal claim of unfair and inequitable treatment that could be made.==

    After reviewing the horrible ROR one gets from their Social Security, I would argue that many SS participants have a legal claim of unfair and inequitable treatment in THAT system.

    Whenever I mention suggest taxing BOTH private and public retirement funds while exempting Social Security from state income tax, public sector folks get bent out of shape. What exactly is lost? SS is essentially a welfare tax. Be thankful you didn’t pay into it. Your private sector brothers will pay the same tax on their 401k as you do on your state pension. Don’t worry.

    On the flip side, if a public sector pensioner wants to exempt a portion of his pension income in a similar fashion, he could always redistribute 10% or so of his pension to those on the low end of the pension scale. After all, that’s what SS does. Something tells me the state pensioner will not agree to that social contract.


  117. - Slide - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:10 pm:

    Good points, benniefly2. Furthermore, even if you successfully achieved both #1 and #2, you *STILL OWE* the pensioners already in the system (not just the retirees) — you can’t ‘undo’ the contract retroactively — that would be a post de facto action. You could only exempt public pensions going forward (i.e., either brand new pension systems or brand new members of pensions).


  118. - Slide - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:13 pm:

    fix: *STILL OWE* the [future] pensioners


  119. - CrazyHorse - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:22 pm:

    My apologies to Secret Square. My post at 4:17 was directed at Percival.


  120. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:36 pm:

    Crazy Horse, I didn’t even see your 4:17 post before it was apparently removed but your apology is accepted anyway :-)


  121. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 5:34 pm:

    Nix, then there are the public sector folks who paid into SS before or after participating in a non-SS pension fund like TRS or SURS. They get smacked by Federal law (laughingly entitled the Windfall Elimination Provision) that eliminates or severely reduces their SS benefits regardless of income.


  122. - Andy S. - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 6:29 pm:

    Regarding taxation of SS: if Illinois were to begin taxing retirement income, I think a legally sound case could be made for exempting income resulting from previously taxed contributions. This would include Roth IRAs and one-half of Social Security (the part presumably due to previously taxed employee contributions). The other half of SS benefits presumably result from employer contributions that were never taxed, because firms can deduct this when they pay corporate income taxes. It is similar for those who are self employed - one half of total payroll taxes paid are deductible from adjusted gross income.


  123. - Federalist - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 6:30 pm:

    @ nixit71 ,

    You should run for political office. You refuse to answer intelligent questions directed at you and just continue your same old spin.


  124. - Federalist - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 6:32 pm:

    @ CrazyHorseI just remember the days not so long ago that my friends boasted about the ungodly sums of money they had in their 401ks. They laughed at my pension. All of a sudden 2008 hit, many 401ks got crushed, and government workers and their pensions became responsible for creating cancer. Can’t have it both ways.

    Oh but they will try to have it both ways and many politicians and members of the MSM will support them.


  125. - CrazyHorse - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 7:18 pm:

    ==Oh but they will try to have it both ways and many politicians and members of the MSM will support them.==

    Very true. Sad but true.


  126. - Facts are Stubborn Things - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 8:54 pm:

    I suspect the court will se no reason to take the case.


  127. - Property of IDOC - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:30 pm:

    Perceval @9:23am
    “Just say retiring @ 53 with pension…”
    There are certain positions, mine for example, that a person could not do much passed the age of 50.


  128. - Property of IDOC - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:30 pm:

    Perceval @9:23am
    “Just say retiring @ 53 with pension…”
    There are certain positions, mine for example, that a person could not do much passed the age of 50.


  129. - N. Umbrage - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:22 pm:

    “retirement at 53 with pension” is irrelevant. what matters is the cost to the State. If properly funded, it is less for the State than having the employer pay FICA, 5% to 401K, and then match another 4% to 5% with the employee.


  130. - Percival - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:09 am:

    I hate to burst all these state worker fantasies about “ungodly sums of money” in 401(k) plans, but there are a few hurdles. First, much of the money in the 401(k) is earned by the employee. If you want that money, fine, go earn it. Second, your company has to offer a plan, and the vast majority of employment is in very small or even tiny firms, not large corporations. Second, your company has to offer a match, and only about 70% of even large companies do. Even then the companies can limit the match amount, or place a high contribution burden on the employee before a match occurs, which many employees shun. The trend since the Great Recession began has been to downsize matching. So, I don’t know who these plutocratic employees might be that Crazy Horse has as friends, and I really question whether “friends” would mock his pension (how would they even know what to mock?), but in any event, the small percentage making out like bandits in 401(k) plans (assuming they exist) are no anecdotal justification for the current pension set up.


  131. - Lynn S, - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:25 am:

    -@ phocion - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:20 am:

    Rich, how many IP addresses on this thread from the State of Illinois or public sector unions. Other than mine and yours, I’d guess all of them.

    Can’t speak for others, but I’m only on CapFax when I’m at home. And don’t forget, CapFax has a mobile version now. Lots of folks coming on here using their smartphones.


  132. - Lynn S, - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:40 am:

    @- Federalist - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:13 am:

    There are around $8.9 billion in taxes that could be collected if ALL presnet exemptions were taxed. Why not tax it all and have a much lower tax rate and lower the rate back to 2.5% for individuals and 4.0% for businesses. Bet that type of across the board REFORM would make a lot of non-state employees squeal.

    Going after retirement income is just another example of people who resent state employees.======

    How is this true? State employees are not the only ones with pensions or other forms of retirement income. Most of the proposals I have seen say no pension or retirement taxation until $50k in income, to protect our proverbial retired teachers downstate, and retired waitresses and secretaries everywhere.


  133. - Lynn S, - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:58 am:

    RNUG @ 1:25 nailed it, especially in his last paragraph.


  134. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:03 am:

    ==state employees are not the only ones with pensions or other forms of retirement income==

    Oh really? To read the news, I thought state employees were the gold cadillac retirees and everyone else was left out in the cold! So there ARE other defined benefits plans out there in the private sector, eh?


  135. - Facts are Stubborn Things - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:15 am:

    The ISC pointed out in their ruling (what RNUG stated) that if the state is granted this police powers right then nothing would be safe from the states ability to create (or claim) emergency’s as they see fit and then use their police powers.


  136. - Anon. - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:22 am:

    Percival @ 12:09 am ==First, much of the money in the 401(k) is earned by the employee.==

    You’re not thinking about this clearly. Every $ in your 401(k) is earned by the employee, whether it is his own contribution, and employer match, or earnings on investments. He earned the employer match by performing services for the employer and he earned the investment return by investing rather than consuming. More importantly, the same thing is true for state pensions — the employees earned every penny of it by providing the services to the state according to the contract. Reneging on(or “reforming”) the obligation to pay state pensions already earned is no different from the government just taking the money from your 401(k).


  137. - Just watching - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:23 am:

    Although it’s a minor thread in this exchange, the election of Bruce Rauner as governor is not to be interpreted as a definitive example of vox populi at work. After all, the people of Illinois simultaneously elected a Democratic legislature. Go figure.


  138. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:32 am:

    @Anonymous One - Google is your friend…

    http://www.epi.org/blog/private-sector-pension-coverage-decline/


  139. - Lynn S, - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:19 pm:

    @- AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:03 am:

    ==state employees are not the only ones with pensions or other forms of retirement income==

    Oh really? To read the news, I thought state employees were the gold cadillac retirees and everyone else was left out in the cold! So there ARE other defined benefits plans out there in the private sector, eh?=======

    Anon One, while there may be other defined benefit pensions in the private sector, there are definitely fewer of them than there were 20 years ago, and they generally tend to be concentrated in a few industries (mining, construction) that tend to have a higher percentage of union employeses.

    I’m not sure there are any that allow employees to retire at age 53 with anything approaching a full benefit, and most of them offer a lower percentage of income replacement than public pensions. So yeah, there’s a definite perception that public sector pensions are much more generous than private sector pensions, and a fair amount of anger over the fact that public sector salaries and pensions are funded by tax dollars.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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