Saturday, July 25, 2015

Who knows what exactly is legal with regards to government being able to reform its pension funding mechanisms

There were partisan political people who clapped with glee, so to speak, when the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the measure that state government tried implementing to reform the way it covered the cost of pension programs for retired workers.

NOVAK: Created more work for Rahm
It was, after all, a measure that now-former Gov. Pat Quinn got credit for implementing. The people who were eager to dump him were ever-so-happy to be able to say that Quinn was inept and incapable of revamping the mess.

THEY CERTAINLY HATED the idea that he’d have to receive praise for fixing a long-lasting problem whose origins date back so many decades – so far back that it is nothing but wrong to place the blame on any one political person.

They all deserve the blame – regardless of what political party they belong to.

And it’s obvious our state government officials don’t have a clue what they need to do to ensure that the cost of providing the pensions for retired state workers and educators across Illinois (except in Chicago proper) doesn’t wind up consuming ALL of the income state government has.

That may actually be a plus for state officials these days; the lack of a state government budget for the fiscal year that began 25 days ago means they now have an excuse to not be concerned with the pension funding problem.

SO WHAT SHOULD we now think of the pension funding problems that exist within city government; where an attempt by city officials led by Mayor Rahm Emanuel got struck down Friday by a Cook County judge?

EMANUEL: Needs a new solution
Could it just be that any attempt to impose a scheme that limits retirement benefits to something government officials think they can afford is going to fail?

Could it be that the wise one in all this is Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle? The county has its own problems and shortfalls to overcome, but has done nothing because they want to see if some other government can come up with the model solution for them to follow.

It would seem that the county has a long way to go – since nobody seems to have come up with the solution.

THE STATE HAD tried passing a measure that would protect the pension benefits already accrued, but would encourage changes in benefits for future work done so that it would not come to quite the same amount of cost.

Whereas the city said it tried to negotiate some changes to get support from the future city retirees who will be counting on that money to ensure they don’t live their “golden years” in poverty.

PRECKWINKLE: Waiting for guidance
Judge Rita Novak wasn’t swayed, saying the Illinois Constitution provides for an “enforceable obligation” to pay retirement benefits.

It would be odd if the same state Supreme Court that struck down the state pension reform plan were to take it upon themselves to overrule Novak’s ruling and say that the city actually got it right.

IT HAS ME wondering what solution, if any, is going to someday be determined to be acceptable to the courts.

Because something is going to have to be done, and it is already long past due. This was an issue in need of a solution years ago – and the fact that the efforts made thus far to fix the problem have been struck down means the problem only gets worse and worse.

QUINN: Not the only failure
I understand why the labor unions that represent government employees are all concerned and willing to fight to the death, so to speak, on this issue. Part of the perk of having a government job is gaining something resembling a passing retirement plan.

If they didn’t offer that, many of those workers would have found more gainful employment elsewhere during their working lives – and we’d probably have great difficulty finding the current level of workers willing to put up with the bureaucratic nonsense that some people want to impose because it fits their own partisan ideals.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the only solution is to pay up as the great Jim Edgar said