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This just in… AG Madigan won’t appeal pension ruling

Wednesday, Sep 9, 2015

* From the attorney general’s office…

We always thoroughly consider all of our legal options in every case. In the pension case, we asked the U.S. Supreme Court for a routine extension of time to allow us to consider whether to seek review of the case by that Court.

After completing our analysis, we have decided not to ask the Court to review the case.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


60 Comments
  1. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 4:44 pm:

    Good for her.


  2. - The Dude Abides - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 4:47 pm:

    I think most of us on here figured that SCOTUS wouldn’t accept this case anyway. Lisa came to the correct conclusion here.


  3. - DuPage - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 4:47 pm:

    Rauner: Curses! Foiled again.


  4. - Enviro - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 4:50 pm:

    Lisa for governor.


  5. - Norseman - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 4:53 pm:

    Stick a fork in this case, it’s done.


  6. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 4:54 pm:

    Took long enough.

    Very few people saw the pension theft bill as Constitutional to being with.


  7. - Blago's Luxurious Grey Mane - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 4:56 pm:

    This is the best legal strategy that has come out of that office for some time. After losing in Circuit Court, Appeals Court, slam dunk in the Supreme, and numerous losses to the Comptroller’s team, she needs to reassess.

    What a disappointment she has become.


  8. - A guy - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:04 pm:

    Wonder if we’ll see any apologies to her from when she asked the court for an extension to evaluate whether or not to go forward?

    For the record, I think she and her office arrived at the right conclusion with regard to pursuing this any further. This isn’t, wasn’t, and really couldn’t be the solution. It’s time to pursue one. Her move today confirms that.


  9. - D.P.Gumby - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:05 pm:

    There was no there there for the USSC.


  10. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:10 pm:

    Why would she apologize A guy? For doing her job?


  11. - Ike E. - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:11 pm:

    Now that the state employees have won their case, it is time to consider some modest changes on a voluntary basis. It is called good faith. I am not talking the type the laws requested, which were mocked down. But some to let the people know that we care about them too.


  12. - Mama - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:20 pm:

    “Now that the state employees have won their case, it is time to consider some modest changes on a voluntary basis. It is called good faith”
    OMG! Will you people ever stop trying to punish the state workers for bad decisions made by pass governors? If they had not stolen the money from our fund, the state wouldn’t be in this mess!


  13. - Mama - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:21 pm:

    The above should state past not pass. sorry


  14. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:21 pm:

    I am not a big fan of AFSCME, but I don’t think they should agree to any “modest changes” to pensions. Pensions are a part of compensation,although many choose not to think of them this way, especially since they are becoming increasingly rare out in the world, or at least, out in the US. What if an employer told you they were going to have to bill you now for a portion of past compensation because they goofed up on the finances. You’d happily give up your cash? I doubt it.

    It’s over. Time to pay up. Want revenge? Indict the politicians and budget folks who set up these pension plans and then raided them when it was convenient.


  15. - Enviro - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:22 pm:

    Ike, good faith woold have been not taking pension holidays.


  16. - cdog - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:22 pm:

    Hopefully, she is keeping an eye on what the GOP is doing to the courts in Kansas. KS AG had to get a stay to keep Gov Brownback and GOP legislators he controls from completely defunding state courts if they struck down a previously passed law.

    “What began as merely a FISCAL MESS in Kansas has become a full-blown judicial crisis.”

    Do you think this is on Gov Rauner’s list of post-2016 dreams…


  17. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:28 pm:

    There’s really nothing left to say. Time to move on.


  18. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:28 pm:

    ==- 47th Ward - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:10 pm:==

    Where A Guy’s from one apologizes for critical thinking and thoughtful analysis.


  19. - Liberty - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:34 pm:

    Cassandra- The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled the General Assembly and Governor can fund the pensions any way they see fit. There is no law they violated. see The People ex rel. Illinois Federation of Teachers, AFT, AFL-CIO vs. Lindberg, 60 Ill.2d 266 (1975) “The Supreme Court examined whether or not pension fund participants and their beneficiaries enjoy a contractual right to enforce a specific level of funding to the respective pension plans. The court noted that the Illinois Constitution allows the Governor to line item reduce or veto any appropriations in a spending bill that is presented to him. The court sustained the Governor’s vetoes and held that no statutorily-mandated contractual relationship existed with regard to funding. The court also observed that the legislature could have easily enacted such a provision had it chosen to do so. Furthermore, the court recognized that the sponsors of section 5 of article XIII of the 1970 Constitution only intended to guarantee that pensioners would receive the full amount of their pensions, and that the framers never intended to place a constitutional restriction on the Governor’s ability to reduce annual appropriations to the pension systems.”


  20. - Liberty - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:36 pm:

    Afsme cannot bargain what state constitution doesn’t allow.


  21. - former southerner - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:37 pm:

    Ike,

    After the police stopped a mugger during an attempted robbery it is highly unlikely the intended victim will feel like making a “good faith” donation to the would be robber. Or perhaps that free wooden ruler I got in the first grade back in 1966 emblazoned with the “golden rule” of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” had a lasting impression on my behavior.


  22. - Ike E. - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:42 pm:

    The politicians are the ones that stole the money. Our neighbors were also done wrong by them too, leaving them in a hole.
    You want this to be over. The victors should show just a modest amount of conciliation, not on behalf of the politicians, but to our neighbors. Modest jesturs can go a long ways some time.


  23. - Tone - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:43 pm:

    Now Amend the Constitution.


  24. - RNUG - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:49 pm:

    == Now Amend the Constitution. ==

    Won’t matter except for those hired AFTER any amendment passes.

    If they tried to apply it to current employees (even after changing the constitution), it would violate both state and federal contract clauses.

    That $110B pension shortfall has to be paid. No way around it.


  25. - Joe M - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:54 pm:

    ==Now Amend the Constitution.–

    When are politicians and people going to quit trying to renege on what the State of Illinois owes - and start figuring out a way to pay the money. Every year that time is wasted on these schemes, the pension debt just goes higher. Time to figure out a way to pay up.


  26. - Joe M - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:56 pm:

    And I call amending the Illinois Constitution another scheme, as even with that, there would be a long legal battle centered around the contract clauses of the Illinois and U.S. Constitution. A state can not pass a law that impairs the obligation of contracts - and I think that the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled definitely that public pensions in Illinois are contractual relationships.


  27. - Mitch1959 - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:57 pm:

    If there is any change to pensions it has to be on new hires who have the right to say NO to the job!


  28. - Tom Plus - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 6:00 pm:

    Outstanding! Whether this was a pragmatic decision, a cynical political one, or an honorable one - doing the right thing - (stop laughing!), whatever, it’s good to see the right thing happen in Illinois for a change.


  29. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 6:04 pm:

    Mitch is right. But this option is never discussed. Do we seriously think lots of somebodies would reject a govt job these days because there was a 401k instead of a pension. When you were a young job applicant, did you even think about funding retirement?


  30. - Mitch1959 - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 6:05 pm:

    Agree Cassandra.


  31. - Tier 2 Employee - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 6:18 pm:

    Defined retirement benefit plans for new employees have been slashed to the point that a 401k with any employer match is more expensive for the state.


  32. - Cold - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 6:30 pm:

    Now Confess Error. She should tell the Supreme Court in the City pension case that she has no good faith argument to make.


  33. - Cheswick - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 6:50 pm:

    == Now Amend the Constitution. ==

    Fine. Go for it. I fully support this endeavor like I did for the last ConCon. Just know that it does not and will not fix or change anything in the past, only going forward from the time the amendment is adopted.


  34. - Huh? - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 7:01 pm:

    I would be all for opting out of a tier 1 pension if that gave me the present value of my pension based on the actual longivity of my family. To sweeten the pot, they could add a few percentage points as well.


  35. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 7:09 pm:

    FYI, A Guy, the solution they ought to be pursuing now is paying the off debt they rang up plus interest. Just like you and I do when we borrow money. And just so we’re clear, it’ll be paid back in the form of increased taxes for you and I. Pursuing anything other that that is kicking the can down the road.


  36. - Mama - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 8:01 pm:

    ++- Huh? - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 7:01 pm: ++
    You are not thinking straight. Did you hit your head?


  37. - Enviro - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 8:08 pm:

    - Mitch1959 @ 5:57 pm: == If there is any change to pensions it has to be on new hires who have the right to say NO to the job! ==

    That would be the tier 2 pension plan already in place for new hires.

    If a 401k plan was adopted for new hires the plan would also include social security, as is common in the private sector. Such a plan and would likely cost much more than tier 2.


  38. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 9:00 pm:

    Must have been awkward for all these tier 2 AFSCME members watching all these tier 1 AFSCME employees celebrating at the office today. Congrats


  39. - Huh? - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 9:14 pm:

    Mama - I did the math and came up with a figure north of $500k. I would look at that number for a long time before I made a decision.


  40. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 9:22 pm:

    It’s great news. It would have been horrible if SCOTUS took the case and overturned the ruling. It would say that states can be irresponsible for decades and then just evade their constitutions and responsibilities when the stuff hits the fan.


  41. - Norseman - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 9:23 pm:

    Almost the, don’t you think the tier 1 MC’s are happy as well?


  42. - Anon - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 9:38 pm:

    That’s quite an explanation for dropping what was recently the state’s top priority.


  43. - The Dude Abides - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 10:03 pm:

    The Governor has chastised past administrations for kicking the pension can down the road. Everything I’ve heard from him so far will amount to a court fight which they will eventually lose, in effect kicking the can down the road.


  44. - insulted UIC 25 year vet. - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 10:30 pm:

    For a good inbiased explanation of why & how,
    Check out this investigative report:

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20150815/ISSUE05/308159991/rauner-madigan-should-end-illinois-budget-stalemate?X-IgnoreUserAgent=1


  45. - HangingOn - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 11:05 pm:

    == somebodies would reject a govt job==

    We actually had to fill a position in the past year because the person who was in it left for Private Sector because they could get better benefits and less stress. Took 2 tries to get it filled because people with the required education had better opportunities outside of gov’t work. Ended up being filled by a present worker who left a different Bureau to take it, which left a shortfall in another office. So from past experience I would say yes, some people would pass on gov’t work if the benefits aren’t there.


  46. - Tom K. - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 11:58 pm:

    The Governor was heard talking to himself today while walking the Mansion grounds: “Hmmmm, if I can’t reduce the accrued pension debt, how can I stop future pensioners from accruing more service time? How can I legally “freeze” their benefits? Mama always said, the first rule of holes is, when you find yourself in a deep one, quit digging”. Meaning, if you cannot reduce the dollar amount of pensions already accrued, you need to cut the number of people set to accrue more in the future. How? By consolidating functions, outsourcing where it makes sense, increasing workloads, and eliminating programs completely, to the extent of what is within his power to do so, because he sure isn’t going to get any help from the rest of the Capital Crew. Which will no doubt make him a one-term Governor. But will the next Gov. have the audacity to re-create what has been eliminated, while we still have so much debt? Unlikely.

    Someone’s earlier suggestion of paying off the pension debt with State park acerage is looking pretty good right now, at least it would go on the tax rolls and start earning its keep.


  47. - dupage dan - Thursday, Sep 10, 15 @ 1:30 am:

    Now all I have to do is avoid the likely strike coming up and I’ll be home free in a few weeks. The next few weeks will tell the story. Not looking good right now.


  48. - Crispy Critter - Thursday, Sep 10, 15 @ 6:22 am:

    Some people are wanting the state workers to voluntarily make modest changes. How about the public voluntarily agree to pay higher taxes to pay for the public projects that was paid for with stolen state employees money?


  49. - Person 8 - Thursday, Sep 10, 15 @ 7:01 am:

    - Cassandra -
    “When you were a young job applicant, did you even think about funding retirement?”

    I did.


  50. - HangingOn - Thursday, Sep 10, 15 @ 7:22 am:

    ==modest changes==

    Depends on your definition of modest. Being at the bottom of the state totem pole I’m looking at the equivalent of an 8% pay cut to cover insurance, and since I have a post brain cancer child the out of pocket would bankrupt me.


  51. - pool boy - Thursday, Sep 10, 15 @ 8:00 am:

    The dead horse is finally dead. Let’s move on.


  52. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 10, 15 @ 8:20 am:

    *** The politicians are the ones that stole the money. Our neighbors were also done wrong by them too, leaving them in a hole.
    You want this to be over. The victors should show just a modest amount of conciliation, not on behalf of the politicians, but to our neighbors. Modest jesturs can go a long ways some time. ***

    Not following your line of thought here. Past governors stole money from the pension fund so that they could avoid raising taxes and still provide pork/services in their districts. Yet, you argue that the people that recieved the benfit of these pork projects - without an increase in taxes to pay for them - were somehow put “in a hole”?

    If that is your position, it is akin to arguing that I should pay my neighbor’s credit card bill that he ran up buying a boat and a car instead of paying cash for it out of his paycheck.


  53. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 10, 15 @ 8:29 am:

    ==When you were a young applicant, did you even think about funding retirement?

    Well, thanks to all of this mess, so newsworthy, our young adult children have become almost misers after seeing what can happen (to us). Full funding of the 401K plus savings to top it off! Today’s young workers are much, much more aware of the shenanigans that can be played by others with their hard earned money. And for those who always love to draw that line in the sand Private VS Public:

    Go work in the public sector right now, right this minute if it’s such a golden opportunity! Ha! Won’t happen because they know it’s not lucrative at all. Public workers are just the new rage to pick on. So many of our neighbors who trashed schools and teachers, citing extravagant pay and benefits are singing a 180 degree different tune, now that their own children are teachers. What happened, I ask them? Oh, you learned the real facts, not the ones spouted in the media. Ha.


  54. - A guy - Thursday, Sep 10, 15 @ 8:38 am:

    === 47th Ward - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:10 pm:

    Why would she apologize A guy? For doing her job?===

    47, allow me to take responsibility for not phrasing my comment more clearly….
    I wouldn’t expect Lisa to apologize. On the contrary, I was referring to many commenters here who were hyper-critical of her for asking for an extension for further review. With that review, I think we’ll agree on this, she came to the right conclusion. Apologies for not being more succinct.


  55. - A guy - Thursday, Sep 10, 15 @ 8:40 am:

    +++ Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:28 pm:

    ==- 47th Ward - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:10 pm:==

    Where A Guy’s from one apologizes for critical thinking and thoughtful analysis.+++

    This, coming from one of the most inane commenters on the entire blog. I better up my game. Perhaps you should just abandon yours. Everything you say is utter silliness.


  56. - the Patriot - Thursday, Sep 10, 15 @ 8:54 am:

    We are all responsible for the pension problem. The most powerful entities are unions who allowed the legislature and governors to not make payments so they could earn better salaries without the tax hike debate.

    A lot of those union members are now retired taking guaranteed pensions inflated by higher wages. They left the bill on the table on their way out the door.

    I accept I failed to elect a leader to fix it, but the unions are the one’s most responsible. The people who are getting paid are retired union members, they just left the bill for the current ones to pay. Think about that next time a union member says a 401K where we all pay for what we get is a bad idea.


  57. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Sep 10, 15 @ 8:57 am:

    So…is AG Madigan operating in the extreme?! :)


  58. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 10, 15 @ 9:16 am:

    8:40 A Guy thank you. Someone had to say it. Some of the commenters like the one you replied to are like robotic insult machines.


  59. - thunderspirit - Thursday, Sep 10, 15 @ 9:32 am:

    Thanks, A guy, for clarifying your remark (I misinterpreted it also).

    A Patriot, I disagree with blaming the unions, particularly regarding the pension holidays. Did I miss the part where the unions underfunded the pensions so that the State could use the money elsewhere?

    The union members paid their portion of the bill, each and every payday. That the State did not is not on the union or the union membership.


  60. - RNUG - Thursday, Sep 10, 15 @ 10:21 am:

    == The most powerful entities are unions who allowed the legislature and governors to not make payments so they could earn better salaries without the tax hike debate. ==

    Let’s be clear here. After the pension clause was enacted as part of the 1970 Con-Con and approved by the voters, the unions actually sued the State for shorting the pension systems. In IFT, et al, v Lindberg, the IL SC said the unions COULD NOT force the State to properly fund the pension systems. The IL SC also said the pensions DID have to be paid when due.

    So the unions tried to force proper pension fund payments and were shot down. The blame falls squarely on the GA & Gov. over the years.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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