I’m still in Brooklyn this morning.
I’m missing the celebration luncheon with my fellow pension warriors.
Today, May 8th, is the third anniversary of the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the pension protection clause of our constitution.
The ruling by the court was unanimous:
In the face of a crisis the state itself created, it can use its legislative and police powers to take away the promised pensions of public employees, then nobody’s rights and property are safe.
On the first anniversary of the win I posted:
Monday I’m having lunch with the old guys in Lombard at the Greek restaurant.
It will be celebratory.
Monday is the first anniversary of the Illinois Supreme Court decision that upheld the pension protection clause of the Illinois Constitution.
The lunch group are all retired teachers. And we all were and are active in the fight to protect public pensions from politicians. A bi-partisan effort on our part to save it and a bi-partisan effort on the part of the politicians to steal it.
Yep. One of our guys is a Republican. Although I would say he is more of an Eisenhower Republican.
He certainly is not a Trump Republican.
Some of us old guys blog and are what former IEA President Bob Haisman calls the perfection caucus. Or The Bloggers.
As if perfection and blogging were two of the seven deadly sins.
That deal would have cost every retired public employee thousands of dollars in pensions and opened the door wide for even further diminishment of our promised retirement earnings.
Frankly, when it comes to the rights of working folks, I don’t trust the legislators or the courts. It just seemed clear to us that we had a better chance in the courts than with Springfield politicians.
I never thought it was ever a lock either way.
As it turns out, their approach was wrong.
And we, and the thousands of other public employees who fought with us for pension rights, were correct.
Although I am still waiting for the union leaders to say that.
The fight isn’t over, of course.
Since the court ruled, the legislature has created a third tier, opening the door for turning defined benefit pensions into private 401(k)-type plans.
And Tier II members in TRS are still screwed.
And there is still the $130 billion liability, the unpaid debt to the pension plans.
And any solution in the form of a progressive income tax can’t even be on the ballot until 2020 at the earliest.
But the win in the cours in 2015 was historic.
Happy constitution day!