From IEA President Cinda Klickna on SB2404:
“There have been questions raised about language amended into SB 2404, the Cullerton-Coalition legislation. This amendment was not a surprise to the members of the labor coalition. The coalition remains committed to the passage of SB 2404. The amendment clarifies the law with regard to retiree access to health insurance through the State.
“Maintaining access to health insurance.”
“Under current law, access to state health insurance for retirees is not a vested enforceable contractual right. If SB 2404 becomes law, it would become, for the first time, an enforceable contractual right. The recent amendment is President Cullerton’s attempt to make it clear that, by making access to insurance a contractual right, SB 2404 does not make the cost of the insurance premium a contractual right. He also wanted to make it clear that while access would become a contractual right, it would not be a retirement benefit protected by the Illinois Constitution’s Pension Clause.
“No change in current law on cost
“To be clear, under current law, the legislature could vote to pass 100 percent of all health insurance costs on to retirees. If that came to pass, IEA would fight to protect the health insurance benefits of our members. In fact, there have been previous attempts to cut the state’s contribution to insurance, but intense lobbying by IEA and other organizations preserved the subsidy.
“SB 2404 is supported by IEA on the grounds that it:· Is constitutional· Is fair to our members· Will stabilize the pension systems”-Cinda
John Dillon to Ken Previti. A translation of Klickna’s response:
A creative collection of contradictions:
“We knew about it all along.
“The law makes it clear that the state can do what it wants with refusing payment by state for health premiums.”
“Healthcare would be an enforceable contractual right (the right to pay for it all), but never any part of a permanent right via constitution.”
“But if these guys ever asked us (scratch that – demanded) that we pay for that, we’d scream holy heck after we agreed to it. It would make us look good in court while it made our constituency pay out the nose. It’s all about appearances…”
“I would promise you that this would be it, but the word ‘stabilize’ is so much more appealing and elusive, isn’t it? Can’t quite tell what that means. Can you? Maybe they’ll be back and I’ll be ‘shocked,’ or maybe they won’t. LOL.”
Courtesy: Ken Previti, John Dillon and Glen Brown.