Pension Ruling in Two Weeks
- A Cook County judge will rule later this month on the legality of a Chicago pension law that would reduce cost-of-living increases, require workers to pay more and require the city to increase how much it puts into two of its employee retirement systems.
That was the bottom line after 2 1/2 hours of closing arguments in a packed Daley Center courtroom over a 2014 pension law that Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed through the General Assembly and got then-Gov. Pat Quinn to sign.
Stephen Patton, the city's top attorney, said the law would prevent pension funds covering laborers and city workers from going bust.
Clint Krislov, an attorney for four unions, city workers and retirees seeking to overturn the law, called Patton's argument the "Chicken Little defense." Krislov said the city, perhaps with an assist from the state, would be forced to bail out the pension funds if their trajectory toward insolvency continued.
Seeing as how the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously knocked down a similar state law, most observers don't see this Chicago law having much of a chance....but stranger things have happened in Cook County Courts, whereby an immediate appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court would probably yield the same result again.