Yesterday afternoon the Illinois House Pension Committee voted out Madigan’s pension bill.
The bill is terrible.
It’s signature components are a shift of state pension payments to local districts and a requirement that teachers choose between receiving a cost of living adjustment to their pension payout or a state subsidy to their retirement health care.
Late in the day yesterday things got interesting.
Republican members of the General Assembly went bonkers.
A video of a GOP legislator Mike Bost of Carbondale, swatting at the bill as he threw it in the air, screaming and cursing Madigan on the Assembly floor went viral.
By the time the House adjourned late yesterday SB 1673 had not been introduced.
The General Assembly session ends tomorrow.
Is this all just political theater?
Today’s Springfield Journal reports that GOP House Leader Tom Cross is furious at Madigan for including the obligation shift in the bill. Cross claims that this is a trick by Madigan to kill so-called pension reform since Madigan knows there aren’t enough votes to pass a bill that combines the two issues. Then he can blame the Republicans.
IEA and IFT leaders are quoted as “scoffing” at the idea that there is collusion between them and Madigan.
But Madigan is anything but a fool. He knows that the 360,000 members of the Teacher Retirement System are dispersed throughout every legislative district in the state. And so are their families. Voters all. Perhaps a million votes in the state.
Whether this is some Machiavellian scheme by Madigan to kill pension changes this session or not doesn’t matter. At this point, it’s all speculation. The reality is the push back by teachers, their family and friends.
Call your senator today.
Kill the bill.