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Pension Reform: Credit Where It's Due

  Speaker Michael Madigan introduced the pension reform bill and raced it through his Illinois House of Representatives. Senate President John Cullerton snatched the baton and ramrodded the measure through his chamber. Now Governor Pat Quinn is calling the bill's lightning-like passage "a political explosion" vowing to sign it as soon as possible.

  Democrats are taking more than their share of bows for the landmark legislation that is projected to save Illinois taxpayers $100 billion in the next half century.

  The fact is that the lawmakers who proposed the most recent version of pension reform in Illinois are republicans. During interviews and news conferences In the past 14 months, Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno and House Republican Leader Tom Cross literally have made hundreds of calls for reform while Madigan and Cullerton did not respond with an actual bill until March 24th, 2010.   

  Since he assumed office, Quinn has gone both ways on pension reform.  Shortly after his elevation, he performed one of his most notorius "flip-flops" on the issue as it applies to public school teachers.  But during the primary campaign, he was a relatively consistent supporter of a "two-tiered" pension system for current employees and those to be hired in the future.

  Republican Senators Kirk Dillard and Matt Murphy told reporters the only reason the dems moved with such dispatch this week was word from Wall Street that bond rating agencies were about to "double downgrade" Illinois' credit.

  The republicans say the bill passed this week includes virtually all the provisions advocated by Radogno and Cross and the party's seven primary candidates for governor.

  Now, Governor Quinn and the democrats running for re-election to the General Assembly in November will claim they are the "party of reform".

   The voters will decide.


As a recently RETIRED IDOT HIGHWAY MANTAINER,I FIRMLY BELIEVE that any changes in the retirement system for past retirees should not be tampered with,when you signed the papers to retire with a monthly salary that you put 8/1/2% into the pension plan there is no way that the state should be able to infringe on my families income.There are other ways to make essential cuts, remove middle management positions that ROD appointed to and created to personnel that are retired from the CITY OF CHICAGO.Make UNION state employees take FURLOUGH DAYS,I voluntarily did so 3-years ago. ALLOW RETIRED (EXPERIANCED HIGHWAY MANTAINERS RETURN FOR ALL OR PART OF SNOW AND ICE AT 15.00 HR.THIS IS 1/2 OR LESS THE HOURLY PAY OF A FULL-TIMER,YOU GET EXPERIANCE AT LESS COST=LESS DAMAGE TO EQUIPMENT.NOT EVERYONE IS GEARED TO BEING A DEDICATED AND SAFE SNOW REMOVAL DRIVER,BUT IN THIS STATE WE ARE TO POLITICAL.

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