When I spoke with my State Senator Iris Martinez last November about her vote on pension theft, her answer was a strange one.
“I’m against the bill, but I’m voting for it. We should let the courts decide.”
Senate Bill 1 passed. Unions and organizations representing the state’s public employees and retirees have filed suit. Those suits have all been consolidated and will be heard in Sangamon County which is Springfield. No injunction is anticipated. The law will go into effect this summer and is expected to be heard by the Illinois Supreme Court in about a year.
You would think that any other attempts to contradict the pension protection clause of the Illinois Constitution would be put on pause until the courts decide.
You would think that. But you would be wrong.
Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel is not waiting for any stinkin’ court. Apparently Rahm and some city unions have come to a pension agreement to cut pension benefits.
But there remains no agreement with the city’s fire, police or teachers union.
In a statement, the We Are One Chicago union coalition said the framework is “an unconstitutional approach that makes onerous cuts to the pension benefits of nearly 50,000 active and retired public servants.”
Three of the biggest unions in Chicago are not part of this framework: police, fire and teachers. The police and fire unions stand to get a nearly $600 million increase in their pension payments next year.