People, be aware of something that will be happening very soon with your taxpayer dollars. By passing these so-called “pension reform” bills, they are setting up the state of Illinois to lose billions more of your taxpayer dollars.
Go out and search on “state pension lawsuits.” There are currently seven states that are trying to enact pension reform and are being sued. In pretty much every case, the state has lost or is losing on appeal when it comes to decreasing benefits for employees who have already retired. In other words, you can’t go back and change retirement benefits employees earned after they’re retired.
At issue in some states is whether or not a state employee and the state have an employment/pension contract. Not in Illinois. The Illinois Constitution explicitly states, “Membership in any pension or retirement system of state, any unit of local government or school district or any agency of instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contract relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.”
I have heard that some legislators think they will win the lawsuits because they are offering the retirees a choice. A choice between shooting yourself in the head and jumping off a cliff is not a choice! Both choices diminish retiree pensions.
I’m no lawyer, but it seems the state of Illinois has a slim chance of winning the inevitable slew of lawsuits that the passing of these bills will cause. Here’s where billions of your tax dollars come in.
The state of Florida has already spent $860 million — yes, almost a billion — dollars defending its pension reform and has lost and is appealing to a higher court.
I suppose when the state loses and we are billions more in the hole, it will be the state employees’/retirees’ fault again.
— Scott Mauck, Dawson