* We’ve discussed this topic several times before, but it’s worth repeating…
Veteran statehouse journalist Charles Wheeler III read aloud an account Wednesday evening of state officials being concerned about Illinois underfunding its pension obligations.
That concern is a commonly voiced today in Springfield, but many in Wheeler’s audience at Eastern Illinois University were audibly surprised to learn that the account he read was from 1917.
“It’s not something new. It’s been a problem forever,” Wheeler said. […]
The guest speaker indicated that pensions were a major topic of discussion at the constitutional convention in 1970 that resulted in a new Illinois Constitution. […]
“[The delegates to the convention] knew what they were doing. The voters knew what they were doing, it was clearly explained,” Wheeler said of the pension protection clause. He added that this clause has since maintained that, “Benefits that are earned cannot be taken away.”
And 103 years later, we’re still studying consolidation.