Following the pension impasse in the last Illinois General Assembly session, Governor Squeezy, father-of-the-year Mike Madigan and Senate Democratic President John Cullerton formed a ten-member joint legislative committee to try and come up with something.
Given the range of political ambitions of some of the members of the Gang of Ten, I have always been skeptical that they could reach any agreement.
I attended their first hearing in Chicago.
Now rumors are circulating that they may produce something in two weeks.
Of course, producing something and then have it pass both houses of the GA is another matter.
Other reports say that father-of-the-year Mike Madigan is not exactly ready to jump on board to support anything that would suggest Governor Squeezy’s legislative salary cuts have worked.
Madigan would rather see his daughter as governor than Squeezy, and that’s saying something.
What I have heard is that the Gang of Ten is looking at something resembling the Six Simple Steps for Reforming SURS, the state university retirement system.
That plan includes a cost shift of the pension obligation from the state to local districts, an increase in member contributions, a hybrid benefit plan that would include a defned contribution system similar to a 401K and a reduction in the COLA.
Pension blogger Glen Brown reminds the members of the Illinois General Assembly:
Consider the concluding remarks from Is Welching on Public Pension Promises an Option for Illinois? An Analysis of Article XIII, Section 5 of the Illinois Constitution by Eric M. Madiar, Chief Legal Counsel to Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton and Parliamentarian of the Illinois Senate. READ the entire document. Address the corruption that caused the financial problems in Illinois these past decades, and reform the pension debt and the state’s revenue system. Respect and protect the constitutional contract with the state’s employees and retirees.