Let’s accept for the moment – just go with me on this – that the pension choice plan of Cullerton and Rauner wouldn’t be laughed out of the Illinois Supreme Court.
Bruce Rauner makes an amazing claim.
“As a first step toward bipartisan compromise, President Cullerton and I have agreed to support his pension proposal that will save $1 billion a year from four of the state pension plans,” Mr. Rauner said in his speech before a joint session of Illinois’ General Assembly. “I have instructed administration attorneys to work with the Senate president’s staff to finalize language as soon as possible. When they do, I urge both chambers to pass it without delay.”
One billion dollars a year?
First, recall that $1 billion a year was the same amount the they claimed Senate Bill 1 was going to save.
But a a study by actuaries last week placed that figure far higher. That’s almost an extra $1 billion a year, which is extremely significant.
Senate Bill 1 was way more far reaching in cuts than the Cullerton/Rauner plan which focuses almost entirely on a forced-choice between less salary, less pensionable salary and diminished pension benefits.
And it excludes current retirees, which Senate Bill 1 did not.
Yet they claim it saves the state’s pension costs the same $1 billion.
If they can’t save it from cutting benefits of current retirees, then how can they possibly reduce the state’s pension costs by a billion without some serious cutting aimed at current employees.