Pensions. It is true that I get impatient, but 70 years is a long time to wait for a problem to get fixed.


Tune in to this week’s Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers. Our guests will be Jay Rehak, a teacher at Whitney Young High School and president of the board of trustees of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund. Joining Jay and my brother will be John Dillon and Glen Brown, both pension bloggers and what some in the leadership of the Illinois Teachers Union refer to as the Perfection Caucus. That’s because they have never been willing to concede basic contractual and constitutional principals.

You can still listen to last Friday’s HL on podcast. Our guest was gubernatorial candidate and current State Senator Daniel Biss.

Senator Biss was on the wrong side of the pension issue for years until the Illinois Supreme Court ruled his solution unconstitutional.

To his credit, he now says that he was wrong.

Senator Biss may have felt a level of frustration coming from me in our conversation. It was not my intention to be rude. You don’t invite someone to be a guest in your home or on a radio show and treat them rudely.

Plus, on a range of important issues, Senator Biss does the right thing.

Just the other day a judge blocked enforcement of a good bill that Senator Biss introduced and got passed in the Illinois legislature. Biss’ law required hospital and medical clinic professionals to tell pregnant women about all their available options, including abortion.

But back to my frustration.

First of all, Senator Biss did not complain. In fact, we received a friendly note of thanks and an offer to return to talk more.

And my frustration reaches far beyond Senator Biss. It goes back seventy years to legislative, bi-partisan pension thievery.

It goes back seven years to the creation of a Tier II for teachers hired after January 1, 2011. If Senator Biss’ bill was pension theft, the creation of Tier II was grand larceny of felonious proportions.

My frustration extends to the recent legislative creation of a Tier III which establishes a private investment option, placing a firm foot in the door for pension privatization. Plus it moves pension costs to already cash-strapped local school districts.

Senator Biss said that his mistake in pushing so-called pension reform was buying into the Culture of Springfield, of failing to address the core problem of adequate revenue and a fair system of taxation that places the responsibility for meeting the state’s obligations on those who can most afford it.

In my opinion, most of the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination for governor are firmly rooted in the Culture of Springfield.

The current governor doesn’t only buy into it, his turnaround agenda embodies it.

I will vote for somebody in November who is not Bruce Rauner.

But listen this Friday, 105.5fm at 11AM and streaming on and hear about about a Movement that defeated a major piece of legislative pension theft.

A Movement was the only thing that could defeat it.

And as for my impatience, I will try and do better.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s