Bargain Grande. All foam. Can’t mess with our TRS.

rauner blago

Rauner approval at Blago-levels.

I call what Rauner wants to pass in exchange for signing a state budget a Bargain Grande  -like something you would get from Starbucks except all foam and no espresso.

With voter approval ratings approaching Blago-levels and disapproval numbers looking more like the temperature I was feeling in Sarasota yesterday (60), The Ruiner has all but abandoned his Turnaround Agenda from two years ago.

He is now down to begging Emanuel and the legislature to let him cut pensions in exchange for $215 million to CPS’s pension debt.

Emanuel gets excited at the mention of cutting retiree pensions so he is open to it. But who cares what Emanuel is open to doing?

I believe it was Sue Sadlowski Garza who said on our radio show, Hitting Left, that even those who support the mayor don’t want to be seen with him.

Last week he threatened to cut state subsidies to the retiree health insurance.

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that any reduction in public employee benefits is a violation of the pension protection clause of the Illinois Constitution.

The court held in Kanerva v. Weems that, under the Illinois State Constitution’s pension clause, any benefit of an Illinois retirement system “cannot be diminished or impaired,” with no exceptions for health benefits.

Sorry Charlie. Threaten all you like, but the subsidies will remain or the court will order it.

Same goes for the Rauner/Cullerton/Radogno pension bill that the Governor wants in exchange for the $215 million to CPS.

The pension reform offers a a choice of two diminishments. If it happens, the court will rule as it has consistently done.

They can’t do it.

And then there is Rauner’s third brilliant idea: A third tier of retirees. New hires wold go into a group that gets no defined benefit. They would receive a defined contribution annuity.

You know who would do well under a state pension system that is constructed around three tiers, one that includes current retirees and most current employees, one that includes some current employees and another that would be for future employees?

Tell you kids to study bookkeeping. That would be the growth industry.

A bookkeeping nightmare doesn’t begin to describe it.

I’m still waiting for those tier two teachers to hit retirement age and the state discovers they owe millions for violating federal Social Security safe harbor rules which requires a state pension be at least as good as what the employee would receive from Social Security.

One thought on “Bargain Grande. All foam. Can’t mess with our TRS.

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