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Sun Jun 30, 2019, 03:45 AM

Latest attempt to cut state pensions is no guaranteed fix

Backers of the latest drive to slash Illinois public pension benefits may want to take note of the fate of a similar effort in San Diego, which won strong voter approval years ago but was nonetheless blocked in the courts and now will not go into effect.

The recent collapse of the 2012 San Diego pension fix is a cautionary tale for Illinois because the fatal flaw cited by California courts — with the U.S. Supreme Court declining to get involved — was the failure of city officials to negotiate with employee unions before putting the proposal to voters.

The growing call in Illinois, from the Civic Federation fiscal watchdog, conservative think tanks and newspaper editorial pages, is to ask voters next year to do away with strong protections for promised pension benefits contained in the state constitution adopted in 1970.

The idea seems simple enough. The 1970 charter has a pension clause that makes it all but impossible to reduce the mounting cost of retiree benefits. So, if those protections are undone, the reasoning goes, lawmakers will be freed to reduce pension costs now consuming close to 25 percent of the state’s general funds spending.

Read more: https://www.sj-r.com/news/20190626/latest-attempt-to-cut-state-pensions-is-no-guaranteed-fix
(Springfield State Journal Register)

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Reply Latest attempt to cut state pensions is no guaranteed fix (Original post)
TexasTowelie Jun 2019 OP
beachbum bob Jun 2019 #1

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 07:58 AM

1. source of pension debt is rarily if ever discussed


- governors and lawmakers used money that was earmarked for the pension fund as slush fund for augmenting the general fund. They wrote "IOUs" and took even the cash contributions of the stateworkers and used it. All illinois residents AND all Illinois businesses got a free ride with no increase in state income taxes, instead raid the pension funds. Not that bill has come due and people want to run from it.

- out side of the Chicago Public school system and all those Chicago area people who pay their share for THEIR teachers and admin retirement via THEIR property taxes, NO DOWNSTATE school district does the same. Not only does chicago pay for their school teachers and admin pensions, they also pay for downstate teachers and admin thru the state income tax, Few, if any legislature wants to discuss this.

- no doubt the pension deal NEEDS to reviewed and reform BUT this requires some guts to do so. You have to address the major issues and few want to have that discussion. Lets revamp so LOCAL school districts MUST provide the pensions for THEIR teachers and admin. REVIEW the giveaways to Illinois University/college pension system as well. Eliminate the 3% annual COLA that makes ZERO sense and tie it to what SS recipients receive.

The bulk of pension issues are teachers, professors and school admin....that NEEDS the review.

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