Friday, May 13, 2011

I'd Rather Be in Wisconsin: Illinois Democratic Leadership Attacks Pension -- Bye, Bye Constitution

“....Madigan and Cross intend to run a new bill that changes the benefits for current employees. According to the current legislative proposal (not quite fully shaped, but soon to be inserted into a Pension Bill —currently an amendment to SB 512) current employees will have three "options" beginning in June 2012:

OPTION ONE: Teachers may remain in the current plan and pay a considerably higher employee contribution (possibly as high as 15 percent);

OPTION TWO: Teachers may move to the new "Tier II" plan passed last year for new employees.

Tier II reduces benefits dramatically (retirement age increases, COLA changes, using 8 years instead of 4 for average salary for pension purposes, etc.) and pay the same 9% contribution;

OPTION THREE: Chose to have an employer contribution (6%) made to a separate "Defined Contribution" plan along with your employee contribution.

In recent weeks, the Illinois Democratic leadership "works together" with IEA. The IEA opposes and then relents to anti-union acts, stating "this is not Wisconsin."

It sure ain't -- it's far worse: latest pension bill (SB 312) requires those of us with defined benefit pensions to increase our contributions from 8% to 14.5% --- a 6.5% increase (pay cut)! That's to keep our "constitutionally guaranteed" pension.

"Pinkie promise."

Even worse, because the state is contributing so little (2%?) the feds will probably add Social Security tax (another 6.5% for retirement) based on the reasoning that our employer isn't offering a satisfactory pension.

Do the math: 6.5 + 6.5 = 13% pay cut to keep a pension not to be "diminished or impaired" (IL state constitution).

In Wisconsin, Republican Senator Scott Walker went after making workers pay half the pension contributions or 5.8%. Wisconsin: 5.8 versus Illinois 14.5% (even without added SSA tax).

Why are people on the Left surprised? This is progressive law coming home to roost. The men and women in Springfield are not progressives but some of their opponents call themselves "progressives." Yet progressives were never very big on "original intent" or "plain meaning" of constitutions," were they? The state constitution means as little as the federal constitution. And now the Left is "shocked! shocked!" that people aren't looking at the letter of the constitution or even top Democratic legal counsel analysis (worth reading - below):

Full 76-page analysis:

Where is the SIUC FA? No word on their site? They are busy demonizing Chancellor Cheng for her temporary 2% pay cut while ignoring the tsunami in Springfield. But, hey, it may all be over by next week. Making politics personal can sometimes be counterproductive . . .

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