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Biss said “obsessive hysteria” led he and others to act “irresponsibly” with pension reform bill

Wednesday, Jan 10, 2018

* Daily Herald

Biss admitted he and others passed a flawed law in 2013 intended to reduce pension debt. The law was struck down in 2015 by the Illinois Supreme Court, which said raising the retirement age for younger employees, capping the salary eligible for a pension and limiting cost-of-living increases violated the state Constitution.

“The state’s got awful budget problems, and state pension debt is an awful part of it,” said Biss, a co-sponsor of the 2013 legislation. “I do think there was kind of an obsessive hysteria about it a few years ago that led a lot of people in the legislature, myself included, to act irresponsibly. That bill was unconstitutional.”

Biss says consolidating pension systems is one way to cut costs. Illinois “has 628 different pension systems,” Biss said. “For almost every community in the Daily Herald area there are two pension systems, one for police officers and one for firefighters … that are served by the same investment and legal consultants. We’ve built a system whose investment returns cannot be what they should be and that allow politically connected consultants to reach their hands into 628 different pockets and come out with taxpayer dollars.”

He also advocates allowing buyouts for pension plan participants.

* Daily Herald editorial

State Sen. Daniel Biss of Evanston stopped in for an Editorial Board interview the other day to make his case for governor, and we will have more to say about that at a later time.

For now, though, we can’t resist sharing our fascination with his perspective on House Speaker Michael Madigan, the most powerful Democrat in Illinois.

His criticism of Madigan is at once sharp but also arms length. Such a curious combination. […]

Biss says that Rauner has shown that nuclear confrontation with Madigan is ineffective. If elected governor, he says, he will have to find a way to work with the Speaker.

With that in mind, Biss is careful about his rhetoric. His opposition to Madigan, he says, is not personal; it’s with the system.

* Wednesday Journal

In response to a question, he bluntly criticized Michael Madigan, the powerful longtime speaker of the Illinois House of Representative, who also serves as the chairman of the state Democratic Party.

“Mike Madigan’s been there too long,” said Biss. “Mike Madigan is too powerful and that power has not been good for the state of Illinois.”

Madigan has been speaker of the House for all but two years since 1983.

“I think the problem with Speaker Madigan is that longevity,” Biss said. “He doesn’t really care about public policy; he’s interested in holding onto political power.” […]

“We are drifting toward plutocracy and that’s a problem,” Biss said. “It’s not what the state needs and it’s not what people want. People can weigh in on that in March.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

67 Comments
  1. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 10:49 am:

    Next thing you know he is going to blame a case of ‘the vapors’


  2. - Anon0091 - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 10:52 am:

    Yea, umm, that dog won’t hunt Dan. You voted for it, proudly at the time. You can’t weasel out of it by saying you were the victim of mass hysteria.


  3. - People Over Parties - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 10:53 am:

    Biss’ pension vote defense is kind of ridiculous. I do think he has a point about Madigan’s affect on the state, however.


  4. - Boat captain - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 10:54 am:

    He admits that he had obsessive hysteria and admitted that he acted irresponsibly with the pension bill and he wants to be governor. We have that now and it’s not working too well.


  5. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 10:54 am:

    It takes some chutzpah to admit that you were guilty of “obsessive hysteria” regarding one of the most important policy questions facing lawmakers in one breath and then accuse Mike Madigan of not caring about policy in the next.

    If Mike Madigan has been there too long to care, and Biss has been there too little time to know what he’s doing, perhaps Goldilocks can tell us what the optimum experience level is for a lawmaker?

    Biss’s self-contradictions are bizarre, even for a theoretical mathematician.


  6. - Montrose - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 11:01 am:

    I am having a really hard time understanding why Biss is still running. Does he think some bomb on Pritzker is out there that will tank him and Biss can jump in? That is the only reason I can think of for him thinking he has a path to winning the primary.


  7. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 11:07 am:

    ==I am having a really hard time understanding why Biss is still running. Does he think some bomb on Pritzker is out there that will tank him and Biss can jump in?==

    There’s probably a lot of reasons, and that’s probably one of them. But another one is that he’s burned the canoes. He can’t run for his State Senate seat anymore, and Wallace can’t run for her House seat. He’s employing a bunch of people (And raising enough money to keep paying them). That’s a lot of folks, including the two names on the ticket, who end up with nothing the second he drops out.


  8. - 35/Shields - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 11:08 am:

    Sounds kinda like that Lincoln Chafee guy during the D presidential debate last year…


  9. - Not a Billionaire - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 11:11 am:

    He just disqualified himself. That hysteria was and is from right wing and Russian websites. It’s purpose was to get gov worker’s angry at Pols and create chaos. In Illinois it also split the democrats and led to Quinn’s defeat. We don’t need pols that are prone to hysteria. This country is In a crisis far worse than the pension.


  10. - RIJ - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 11:14 am:

    Ha! As a recent state retiree, this is hilarious. Biss will never receive a vote from me or any other thinking state employee or retiree. And I’m completely over so-called leaders who succumb to “obsessive hysteria” - the particular hysteria he’s referring to made state employee and retirees’ lives a morass of worried anxiety. As a class, we have received much scorn and vile press. Biss and his ilk cannot sink into obscurity fast enough for me.


  11. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 11:14 am:

    My preference is for a governor who is not susceptible to “obsessive hysteria.”


  12. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 11:14 am:

    Victims of obsessive hysteria jamming and passing an unconstitutional bill, shouldn’t run for governor.


  13. - Jocko - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 11:18 am:

    To paraphrase Nancy Pelosi, Biss had to pass the bill so that he could find out what is in it.

    His follow up of “consolidating pension systems” sounds a lot like “finding W,F & A”


  14. - WSJ Paywall - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 11:18 am:

    I keep seeing leftists upset about IFT/IEA endorsements of Pritzker as opposed to the “progressive” in the race:

    They underestimate the impact of the pension reform issue. Ever talk to an IFT member? I have to the ones in my life - all of them said they wouldn’t vote for Biss because of his efforts on pension reform.


  15. - Al - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 11:19 am:

    The liquor and casino industry love Biss.


  16. - Marty - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 11:22 am:

    He needs to wear that pension bill forever. He was the sponsor and a chief spokesperson for it. He was the brilliant mathematician who was smarter than all the rest of us. The solution remains the same. Pay the bills that have been previously obligated and let Tier 2 work.


  17. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    –“I do think there was kind of an obsessive hysteria about it a few years ago that led a lot of people in the legislature, myself included, to act irresponsibly. That bill was unconstitutional.”–

    Naughty, naughty. Gag me with a spoon, with your faux victimhood. You guys knew what you were doing.

    You cynically passed a law that you knew was unconstitutional to get Ty and the obsessive hysteric dingbats in the rented tronc tower edit boardroom off your backs before the election.

    Granted, they’re easily fooled, but it is what it is.

    Own it, don’t whine about it. You weren’t a victim, you were a sneak who got away with it for a little while to serve your own purposes.


  18. - Anotheretiree - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    It was obviously unconstitutional. Scares me when I can see something legislators can’t or won’t. Reminds me of a quote about how poorly led the world actually is.
    Jocko - Nancy Pelosi didn’t say what everybody thinks she said. Google the actual quote. That’s an example of our loss of truthiness in political debate.


  19. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 11:47 am:

    “We are drifting toward plutocracy and that’s a problem,” Biss said.

    Plutocracy……..government by the wealthy………
    would that include doing things like trying to break contracts with public workers in order to weasel out of paying what you owe them?


  20. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 11:51 am:

    “I do think there was kind of an obsessive hysteria about it a few years ago that led a lot of people in the legislature, myself included, to act irresponsibly.”

    Allow me to translate: “The devil made me do it.”


  21. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 11:53 am:

    Real dandy to make excuses about his part in creating that hysteria. I attended several group meetings of his (and Nekritz as sidekick), telling about life as we now know it ending if we don’t decrease/eliminate public pensions. His hysteria caused a great amount of strife and panic amongst many.

    Now, he says he knew it was constitutional? Wow. Who would give this man any trust as a leader? He played reckless with retirees’ livlihood


  22. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    *unconstitutional


  23. - Not a Billionaire - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 12:08 pm:

    Goldstein has my vote because he said he won’t defend anymore unconstitutional pension bills.I hope Daibar and Too get more votes than Biss or Kennedy. Those two are just out there now.


  24. - cdog - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 12:16 pm:

    I love all the consensus that it was unconstitutional.

    So when does the next eureka-moment happen where all the brainiacs in Illinois realize the constitution needs changed?


  25. - Pundent - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 12:17 pm:

    Passage of the pension reform bill was not the result of “obsessive hysteria” it was politics pure and simple. It was either done with willful disregard for the constitution or to simply confirm what the constitution clearly states. Either way it was incredibly disingenuous because it was nothing more than another attempt to ignore the underlying problem (pension funding) or take meaningful steps to address it. The problem persists and its become even larger as a result of these deliberate efforts.

    I’d have a lot more respect for Biss and any other politician if they would plainly call this like it is.


  26. - cdog - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 12:17 pm:

    “and that allow politically connected consultants to reach their hands into 628 different pockets and come out with taxpayer dollars.”

    There’s a truth bomb for the good people of Illinois.


  27. - Not a Billionaire - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 12:23 pm:

    Actually it probably went down this year because I bet it way outperformed 6 or 7 %.We remain under the ramp and will accrue the teir 2 benefits until that gets in trouble.Biss just didn’t vote for it he was one of the self declared experts. He knew math. He and Nekritz were the leaders on the Democratic side and he is about to join her in political oblivion.


  28. - Pundent - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 12:23 pm:

    Biss is however making clear the choices that face voters in the Democratic primary. It comes down to plutocracy or obsessive hysteria.


  29. - A Jack - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 12:25 pm:

    It does not sound like Biss understands public pensions at all. There are likely 628 public pension Funds, but most are administered by a dozen agencies. And why would you want to co-mingle a well funded police pension fund with a poorly funded system like TRS? On top of that, municipal pensions are funded by property taxes, while state systems like TRS are funded through appropriations.


  30. - Pundent - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 12:35 pm:

    =It does not sound like Biss understands public pensions at all.= I would argue that Biss understands public pensions very, very well. He also understands that by calling out 628 public pension funds he can confuse voters into thinking that there’s a simple fix when there clearly isn’t (other than proper funding). It’s the kind of misrepresentation that can only be defended by obsessive hysteria.


  31. - Liandro - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 12:54 pm:

    It’s an election year. Much better to appease key constituencies of your party than stand by your previous touch choices. It’s a bipartisan tradition. Wonder what he would say about it in the general election? Stick to his new-found resistance to reform?


  32. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 12:56 pm:

    === I love all the consensus that it was unconstitutional. ===

    I guess that’s why the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional.

    === So when does the next eureka-moment happen where all the brainiacs in Illinois realize the constitution needs changed? ===

    Perhaps the brainiacs realize that there is a very strong argument that changing the Illinois Constitution won’t correct the current debt problem in that you can’t take away a property right that existed prior to the change.


  33. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 1:18 pm:

    ====the Illinois Constitution won’t correct the current debt problem in that you can’t take away a property right that existed prior to the change.

    Exactly–and pensions going forward are not nearly as generous. Basically the fixes have been made, it is just going to take time for them to work themselves out.


  34. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 1:23 pm:

    –So when does the next eureka-moment happen where all the brainiacs in Illinois realize the constitution needs changed?–

    Sometime after certain braniacs educate themselves as to how difficult it is to change the constitution and that doing so would not reduce the current unfunded liability by one penny.

    Katrina, is that you?


  35. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 1:25 pm:

    There has to be a drug for “obsessive hysteria”. I can see big pharma using Biss’ “It’s Personal” ad and dubbing in the drug side effects over Biss’ original message.


  36. - Liandro - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 2:00 pm:

    “there is a very strong argument”


  37. - Liandro - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 2:01 pm:

    …that passing debt on to future generations is immoral. We need solutions that don’t sound like more and more tax hikes.

    Sorry, no idea why that fired before I was done, lol.


  38. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 2:03 pm:

    Liandro—suggestions?


  39. - AndyIllini - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 2:08 pm:

    The only solution is a federal bailout, but it’s going to be a long, painful road to get there, if we ever do.


  40. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 2:08 pm:

    How about we play let’s pretend and ask Biss what the post Madigan does differentlt. Maybe prevent hysterical votes?


  41. - Dome Gnome - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 2:11 pm:

    If hindsight’s 20/20, this lookback is x-ray vision.


  42. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 2:26 pm:

    “Mike Madigan’s been there too long,” said Biss. “Mike Madigan is too powerful and that power has not been good for the state of Illinois.”….“I think the problem with Speaker Madigan is that longevity,” Biss said. “He doesn’t really care about public policy; he’s interested in holding onto political power.” […]

    Biss and Rauner singing from same hymnal. How bout that. Both are correct.


  43. - Liandro - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 2:28 pm:

    Plenty, everything from cuts to trimming of benefits to targeted new tax/fee structures (with a sunset). The problem is: we’d have to do all of it, we’d have to actually pay it in to the system, and we’d have to be politically willing to take heat. Each party would have sacred cows that get slaughtered.

    For a problem of this magnitude, there isn’t a “solution”. There is a multitude of sacrifices and reforms that are needed. We have already done a series of tax hikes and new fees (including new ones imposed on local governments), both under Quinn and now Rauner. We have impressive out-migration numbers and the pension trendline still isn’t healthy.

    There hasn’t been leadership on this issue from either party…for decades. The generation before inherited a pile of crap, added to it, and is passing it on to my generation. In family life this is impossible–you can’t impose your debts onto your children in this manner. Unfortunately you can as a government, and it’s crushing us.


  44. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 2:31 pm:

    –How about we play let’s pretend and ask Biss what the post Madigan does differentlt.–

    Obviously, Democrats become Raunerites. Dont you pay attention to the Rauner/tronc/IPI big brains? They’re really smart, just ask them. They’ve got a think tank and everything.


  45. - Not Blocked by Rich Yet Today - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 3:00 pm:

    =I guess that’s why the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional.=

    Don’t state elected officials take an oath to uphold the IL Constitution?


  46. - cdog - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 3:07 pm:

    I’m not sure what conspiracy theory abounds that has folks convinced it’s that hard to amend the IL Constitution. (that’s a joke, fyi)

    It’s seems easy to me–Article XIV, Section 2.
    start in either chamber
    3 readings
    60% in favor, both chambers
    no Gov sig req.

    Those steps essentially put it on the ballot for the voters in IL decide if that burdensome language should hog-tie future generations.

    sans the current situation, duh.


  47. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 3:17 pm:

    Trimming of benefits has already happened. Tier 2.

    So, since full contributions have never been made to the pension funds (hence the massive deficit with interest owed), have we started fully funding them to address the problem……. or is it pass the buck another year and panic over the mounting debt on that lack of contribution as well?


  48. - Angel's Sword - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 3:25 pm:

    I suppose this is better than him continuing to defend his votes to rob the pension systems, but it’s not exactly inspiring my confidence.

    Not only did he attempt to dodge responsibility with a weak excuse that I doubt is true (I think the true reason he voted against would be “back then I wasn’t ineptly trying to pander to liberal voters”) but even if it was true, is this excuse supposed to be reassuring? Should we elect someone Governor who can be easily swayed by his peers into making bad decisions and panics in a crisis? Isn’t that the exact opposite of what a leader should do? Heaven forbid Illinois should have a real crisis under such a “leader”!


  49. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 3:32 pm:

    == everything from cuts to trimming of benefits ==

    Are you proposing a new Tier x … that may actually cost more than Tier 2, especially for TRS (which is the biggest system)?

    Or are you proposing to cut existing Tier 1 and Tier 2 … which the courts have already ruled out?


  50. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 3:35 pm:

    == have we started fully funding them to address the problem… ==

    We are still on the Blago modified Edgar Ramp, so we have a number of years to go before we cross the line to making actuarially sufficient or greater payments.


  51. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 3:51 pm:

    Let the funds go BK


  52. - DuPage - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 4:00 pm:

    @- AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 3:17 pm:

    Trimming of benefits has already happened. Tier 2.

    ===So, since full contributions have never been made to the pension funds (hence the massive deficit with interest owed), have we started fully funding them to address the problem……. or is it pass the buck another year and panic over the mounting debt on that lack of contribution as well?===

    Each year the pension systems figure an exact amount owed for that year and send it to the governor and legislature. Quinn sent the full amount, this last year the practice of shorting the TRS and other systems resumed under Rauner. In all the chaos going on with the budget, it did not get much attention.


  53. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 4:25 pm:

    ==shorting the TRS and other systems resumed==

    Deliberately. No one has the right to complain about debt. It’s a plan, apparently.


  54. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 4:44 pm:

    ==Or are you proposing to cut existing Tier 1 and Tier 2 … which the courts have already ruled out?==

    The courts did not rule out a wage freeze, which would essentially cut benefits.


  55. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 5:11 pm:

    –It’s seems easy to me–Article XIV, Section 2.
    start in either chamber
    3 readings
    60% in favor, both chambers
    no Gov sig req.–

    LOL, read the whole section. There’s more to it.


  56. - MyTwoCents - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 5:17 pm:

    A Jack, most of those pension funds are police and fire funds run by individual municipalities. I also don’t think Biss was suggesting that TRS should be merged with those funds.

    Consolidating all those individual funds won’t affect the State funding issue 1 iota, however that is an idea worth pursuing. It makes sense to consolidate them into 1 public safety fund under IMRF and allow local governments to save on administrative costs.


  57. - Liandro - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 5:22 pm:

    “Are you proposing a new Tier x … that may actually cost more than Tier 2, especially for TRS (which is the biggest system)?”

    I would propose to look at the benefit package as a whole. Medical, pension, pay, vacation…everything. Not every part of the total compensation package is untouchable. The savings don’t have to come from the pension side. Keep the great pensions, cut somewhere else.

    By no means am I suggesting this all (or even equally) falls onto employees of any tier. It falls on the whole state, unfortunately…whichever generation finally chooses to own it. Until than it will keep taking a larger chunk of our budget, and thus a larger chunk of our ability to properly run our state.


  58. - Whatever - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 5:46 pm:

    City Zen @ 4:44 ==The courts did not rule out a wage freeze, which would essentially cut benefits.==

    But it won’t affect the current deficit, which is for funding for benefits already earned. And, in case you haven’t noticed, merit comp employee pay has been frozen since Blago, and AFSCME members’ wages haven’t increased since their contract expired. How well has that worked?


  59. - Darby - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 6:34 pm:

    You then start trying to find companies. http://clwww.net.cn/comment/html/?92576.html


  60. - Pundent - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 6:45 pm:

    Saving on admin costs is admirable but we’re talking pennies and not dollars which is misleading on the part of Biss.


  61. - hongyangxy.com - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 7:48 pm:

    Categories of social media sites optimization. http://www.hongyangxy.com/comment/html/?835182.html


  62. - http://westwoodeducation.com/ - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 8:23 pm:

    He additionally runs an Web marketing blog. http://westwoodeducation.com/UserProfile/tabid/61/userId/1284853/Default.aspx


  63. - peon - Wednesday, Jan 10, 18 @ 8:29 pm:

    Interesting to call it “obsessive hysteria”. At the time it was described as 3-D chess by legislative masters (which I never believed).

    It looked mostly like the arrogance of legislators (Biss, Nekritz, etc.) trying to restructure a complex pension system without being bipartisan legal or financial experts. That episode also led to the current Gov being elected I believe.


  64. - RNUG - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 12:38 am:

    == I would propose to look at the benefit package as a whole. Medical, pension, pay, vacation…everything. ==

    Let’s see that piece by piece :

    Wages - as pointed out by others, they have been essentially frozen for years - savings $0 for at least the rest of Rauner’s term

    Pensions - as pointed out, you can’t cut for existing employees (re SB-1) and any new plan would either cost the same or more (at least short to mid term) as the current Tier 2 - savings $0

    Health care - can’t take it away from the retirees (re Kanerva) and there are more retirees than employees. Current employees plus all dependents could have their rates increased; the State has already done some of this and appears to be working on more of it, but it is currently subject to collective bargaining. For arguments sake, we’ll say there may be $1B - $2B total on that table is you make the employees pay 100% … but it will probably take years to get there … and cost increases may wipe out any savings. Plus the State is still running 1 to 2 years behind on paying past claims. Savings - $0 for at least a couple more years, eventually between $500M and $1B (my estimate)

    Vacation - may or may not be any actual cash savings. If you are assuming there will he savings from reducing head count, it’s hard to reduce when the State is already shorthanded. Savings - I’ll be generous say you might save between $50M - $100M.

    So, initially you might be able to save $300M or so in FY19. That’s about 1% of the annual budget.

    Go out a few years to where you might he saving $1.5B; that is about 4% of the current state budget and will probably be closer to 3% when inflation is factored in.

    Those kind of savings aren’t going to fix the budget …

    And that only affects SERS, JRS, SURS and GARS … in other words, just about half of the employees the State is currently paying pensions for. TRS isn’t affected because the State doesn’t control their benefits like salary or vacation, and TRS members mostly pay for their health insurance.

    And those other hundreds of pension funds … they aren’t state employees and consolidating won’t save the State a penny. But I do agree it would probably be a good idea to consolidate all the rest of the police under an IMRF like umbrella agency and the same for firefighters. It won’t really fix any financing problems, but it would be a point of accountability.


  65. - City Zen - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 8:38 am:

    ==And, in case you haven’t noticed, merit comp employee pay has been frozen since Blago, and AFSCME members’ wages haven’t increased since their contract expired. How well has that worked?==

    You’re talking just one subset of Tier 1 employees. I’m talking anyone who falls under Tier 1. Schools, universities, judges, etc. And just Tier 1. Tier 2 already paid with lower pension benefits.

    A wage freeze is merely a funding shift, not a funding decrease. When the pensions are sufficiently caught up, raises can resume.


  66. - anon2 - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 8:57 am:

    I give Biss credit for one thing: He is the only supporter of the unconstitutional pension law that admits it was irresponsable. We have yet to hear such admission from Quinn, Madigans, Nekritz, etc.


  67. - Pundent - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 9:13 am:

    =I give Biss credit for one thing: He is the only supporter of the unconstitutional pension law that admits it was irresponsable. We have yet to hear such admission from Quinn, Madigans, Nekritz, etc.=

    And you won’t because it was a political ploy. The likelihood was always very high that this wouldn’t pass constitutional muster. It was simply done to create the appearance of doing something pre-election. The solution to the problem has always been the same, funding.

    Biss was an architect of the bill and is now seeking the big chair. He can’t run from the issue. I suppose he feels that characterizing this as “obsessive hysteria” is better than calling it a political stunt, but I’m not buying it.


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* ‘Westworld’ Episode 1 recap: 5 things to know about ‘Journey Into Night’ and the start of Season 2
* After backlash, Shania Twain apologizes for saying she would have voted for Trump
* Wisconsin is the GOP model for ‘welfare reform.’ But as work requirements grow, so does one family’s desperation.
* At least 8 wounded in Chicago shootings
* Dorothy Brown brushes aside federal probe, announces run for Chicago mayor
* Former presidents, first ladies pose for photo at Barbara Bush's funeral
* Cubs hold on for wild win over Rockies after Kris Bryant beaning
* Cubs working with Yu Darvish to solve his 5th-inning struggles
* 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' opens on Broadway, the J.K. Rowling magic now passed between generations


» At South Side Cemetery, A Gathering For Confederate Descendants – And Protesters
» Official: Pop Tax Repeal Could Mean Late Tax Bills, Budget Headaches
» Casino Sale Raises Questions About A Windfall - Or A Conflict - For Pritzker
» Eliminating Golden Parachutes in Illinois; Children’s Author M.J. Mouton; Illinois Budget
» Obamacare Protection Measure Fails in Illinois House
» State Week: McCann Makes Three; Blagojevich Makes Appeal; Preckwinkle Makes History
» WBEZ’s Chicago and Illinois News Roundup: April 20, 2018
» From Columbine To Parkland: Art And Activism
» Web Extra, The Week in Review: Is there a Newspaper War in Chicago?
» The Week in Review: Dorothy Brown Enters Mayoral Race


* George Will: Gorsuch strikes blow against administrative state
* Statehouse bills would increase drivers' awareness of bike safety
* Proposal would let more voters try to cut property taxes
* Illinois Lottery sells tickets for instant games after top prizes are gone
* Government consolidation efforts gain traction in General Assembly
* Statehouse Insider: Governor's race could set records beyond spending
* Guest View: Doing nothing on transportation funding is no longer an option
* Our View: Let the people vote on fair maps
* United Way: Dedicated volunteers affect lives every day
* Guest View: A nation at risk


* A list of fundraising events in central Illinois, April 23
* Random Acts of Kindness: Shopper's courtesy leads to bouquet of tulips
* Two taken to hospital after car flips into ditch in Belleville
* Crash reported near Oakwood
* He told police he witnessed a robbery, but surveillance video showed otherwise
* Church gifts the Decatur community with the 'Give Back'
* 'A supportive community': Event raises awareness of medical cannabis use
* After tragedy, Central Illinois mothers bring heart initiative to life
* Nashville police search for Waffle House shooting suspect
* At least four dead after shooting at Tennessee Waffle House


* Cubs' Kris Bryant hit on helmet by pitch, leaves game
* Scouting report: White Sox vs. Seattle Mariners
* White Sox downplay Moncada controversy
* Aurora library apologizes for display criticized as Islamophobic
* Girls soccer: St. Charles North tops WW South for Pepsi title

* It's official: If you prepaid your propert...
* A quick look at a few congressional races ...
* Underwood hopes winning primary formula ca...
* House approves Curbelo, Hultgren bill prot...
* Democrats aim to turn Obamacare into asset...
* Bustos pushes to make 'blue wave' happen i...
* Pritzker, other Illinois Democrats in DC: ...
* The Week in Review: Illinois Politicians T...
* Republicans praise Ryan: 'He's done a good...
* The Week in Review: Illinois Politicians T...

* Booker, Durbin, Krishnamoorthi Introduce H......
* Durbin, Duckworth demand accounting of All......
* Area US senators' votes on Trump nominatio......
* What's the Deal With Chuck Schumer's Pot B......
* Durbin, Duckworth press Allegiant for flig......

* Few mothers could do what Tammy Duckworth ......
* What Tammy Duckworth really just taught us...
* Tammy Duckworth becomes first senator to v......
* Four stories that mattered this week, expl......
* 4 stories that mattered this week, explained...

* Dried scallops the key ingredient in chef C.J. Jacobson's 'Mediterranean XO sauce' [VIDEO]
* Weed Week: Get in the mood for 4/20 with these photos by Chicagoans dedicated to legal weed
* 5 Technology Tools in the Higher Education Classroom
* Deep Learning Models That Predict Conflicts In Online Communities
* Why Is Online Learning Seeing a Surge in Popularity?
* Why an iTunes Model for Online Learning Is Bad for Educators
* Microsoft launches new online training courses for aspiring AI engineers
* Are campus innovation centers serving all students?
* Digital Learning Strategies for Rural America: A Scan of Policy and Practice in K-12 Education
* With FCC approval, all systems are go for Starlink global internet


* IEMA Highlights Role of Volunteers in Disasters
* Governor Rauner activates State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield
* February Flooding Information
* IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather
* Governor issues state disaster proclamation for flooding in Iroquois, Kankakee, Vermilion Counties

  
* The Meizu 15 series is powered by Samsung displays and an Exynos chipset
* Kogan Mobile climbs toward AU$3.5m quarterly profit
* Amazon India starts pre-sales push for OnePlus 6
* ​What's the most popular Linux of them all?
* Commerce Department to accept evidence from ZTE in “informal procedures”
* Deal: 3 years of SelectTV is now only $29
* US investigating AT&T and Verizon over eSIM, GSMA pauses its involvement

* White Sox Minor League Update: April 22, 2018
* Lopez strong; bullpen, bats falter against Astros
* Lopez strong; bullpen, bats falter against Astros
* Lopez strong; bullpen, bats falter against Astros
* Stros sweep, with 7-1 win
* South Side Sox Roster Ranking: Round 17
* South Side Sox Prospect Vote: Round 17


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