SB2404. A pension bill Republicans can love.


Illinois House Republican Chad Hays.

Some members of the tiny Illinois Republican Party are telling folks that they love SB2404, the pension bill that came out of negotiations between the We Are One coalition of state public employee unions and Democratic Senate President John Cullerton.

The bill is an attempt to circumvent the pension protection clause of the Illinois constitution which guarantees that our pensions cannot be diminished or impaired.

The  bill pretends to offer a choice to retirees in exchange for consideration, meaning a benefit of equal or greater value.

But in recent days we have learned that the consideration is simply access to a yet-to-be determined health care program at a yet-to-be-determined price.

House Republicans are loving it.

“I think if we voted on the Cullerton bill, I think it would pass overwhelmingly,” said Rep. Chad Hays, R-Catlin. “My gut is that it would pass handily. Whether we get that opportunity remains to be seen.

“You might see some of the Republicans who did not vote for the Madigan bill (SB 1), I think they’d strongly consider voting for 2404.”

He predicted it would pass with “80-plus votes” out of the 118-member House.

“I’ve been saying for two years that we need a negotiated approach, with everybody at the table,” said Hays. “It’s certainly not a perfect bill, but it is by far the closest to that kind of a solution.”

But Hays predicts that won’t happen.

Madigan has told people that he won’t bring SB2404 to a vote.

It is unlikely that Madigan’s draconian SB1 can pass the Senate.

The odd thing is that Republican Hays sounds exactly like our union leadership. Or maybe it’s the other way around.

7 Replies to “SB2404. A pension bill Republicans can love.”

  1. So does that mean another year of fighting for our pensions and another year of blooming retirees for the budget/debt crisis of Illinois?

    1. Paul,
      This is just speculation. Never underestimate what damage the Illinois General Assembly can cause while they are in session. But if the House won’t bass SB2404 and the Senate won’t pass SB1, then it is grid-lock and the debt continues to increase. Since both bills are unconstitutional and require those of us in the pension systems to foot the entire bill, neither should be supported. No revenue creation bill is on the table and the problem cannot be fixed until there is.

      1. Fred, would you agree that SB 2404 is favorable only because it is less damaging than SB1? Is that the reason We are One favors it? What “revenue creation” would you recommend? I have advocated for that all along! Assess $100/household/year would bring billions. Fee to farmers for using our roads. increasing drivers’ licenses and plates. increase tax on alcohol and fines for DUI and texting. I get no response. What are your thoughts? I retired as teacher in Bloomington in 2005.

      2. Jo,
        I can’t agree SB2404 is more favorable because by posing the question as a choice between two bad bills it frames the issue in the wrong way. There are three fundamental issues: What is the right thing to do? What is the legal thing to do? And what is the practical thing to do. Both bills are the wrong thing to do because they put the burden entirely on the backs of the members of the pension systems. Neither the legal thing to do because they both violate the pension protection provision of the state’s Constitution. They are not practical – they will not work – because pension benefits are not the cause of the problem. Lack of revenue is the cause of the problem. Only by addressing the revenue issue with a graduated income tax and closing corporate loopholes (that have cost the state over $700 million dollars) will the problem be solved.

  2. Cinda Klickna said that if a retiree ‘chose’ to give up TRIP insurance, a refund would not be made to the teacher–of the 35 years of 1% contributions to THIS (Teachers Health Insurance Security).
    Active teachers will no longer be required to contribute to THIS in every paycheck.
    This will assure the demise of TRIP.
    But I wonder if active teachers will see their TRS lowered since they no longer will contribute to THIS.

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