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.
“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.