Friday, May 27, 2011

Who is Behind Illinois Pension Reform? Hint: Rahm Emanuel would be very happy

News story on Rahm Emanuel's well-known antipathy to unions (and anything else that stands in his way):
Emanuel’s lobbyists were successful in their effort to include city workers in a controversial pension bill. The measure would require city employees to pay more into their pensions, along with state workers, teachers and university employees. Chicago police and firefighters were not included in the bill. The proposal advanced out of a House committee Thursday.
Some legal experts say the plan would violate the Illinois Constitution, which says pension benefits “shall not be diminished or impaired.” But with heavyweights including Emanuel and House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) supporting it, the measure gains stronger legs as it moves to the Senate.
During the mayoral campaign, Emanuel was vocal about the need to address the city’s underfunded pension system, but he did not say how he would fix the problem. He was not endorsed by the city’s police and firefighter unions due to concerns he would reduce pension benefits, and he lost several wards with heavy police and fire populations on Election Day.
Of course, there are many others who want pension reform and "honest men may disagree" but Emanuel is in the play on this one.

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