Another Opinion on Pensions
Opinions are like lawyers - or is it something else? Here's another lawyer talking about pension guarantees:
- The people who wrote the 1970 Illinois Constitution knew they were guaranteeing public employees that their pensions would not be reduced once they started working, according to a new legal analysis by the Senate Democrats’ top lawyer.
The 76-page report – complete with 630 footnotes – attempts to refute arguments by the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago that the legislature has the power to change future benefits for current employees.
Over the last eight months, Eric Madiar, chief legislative counsel to Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, reviewed the debates at the constitutional convention, related court cases and the papers of Henry Green, one of the sponsors of the constitution’s pension clause, which are at the University of Illinois.
“In sum, welching is not a legal option available to the state,” Madiar concluded.However, the state could negotiate a reduction in future pension benefits for current employees, he added.
Those are going to be some contentious negotiations - should they ever take place.