–John Dillon blogs at Pension Vocabulary. Here John Dillon asks the former Governor Pat Quinn a simple question.
Question: Was there ever a time after you lost the election that you looked back at your dreadful signing of SB1, the Pension Reform bill that was later found totally unconstitutional on May 8th by the Illinois Supreme Court, that you thought about the over 100,000 teachers and many more public workers who did not and would not vote for you after what you did? People, I must say, like myself – a retired schoolteacher. Did you ever wonder that you had done the wrong thing?
Pat Quinn: No, John, not at all. I believe we did the right thing in developing that bill. We had reached a critical moment in the state’s ability to deal with mounting debt, and we needed to find some way to curtail the expenses we could not meet. There was nothing that told us that our bill would be found unconstitutional, and we needed to find out whether or not this very necessary step would be acceptable.
(Thought: You mean, the many Illinois Supreme Court antedated cases didn’t concern you? You mean, you thought Article XIII, section 5 of the Illinois Constitution was legally vaporous?)
Pat Quinn: So you see, John, we had to find out. And as a governor, I have to tell you I am very proud of my accomplishments while in office to restrain further pension payments. For example, I signed into law a bill that provided savings of billions of dollars in savings for pension liabilities by changing the terms of pension payments for new hires after the year 2011. I’m very proud of that.
(Thought: Are you delusional? You put on the backs of new hires an egregious payment to receive a capped retirement without a compounded COLA at a cost to them that will exceed what the Social Security Administration will consider equivalent to basic Social Security (the Safe Harbor explanation) and Illinois will be on the hook for even more money!)
Pat Quinn: Yes, I think I did my part…