SPRINGFIELD - There will be no pensions reforms before the end of this regular session, Speaker Mike Madigan and Minority Leader Tom Cross announced Monday afternoon during the heat of the session's last two days.
Groups like the Civic Committee, Americans for Prosperity of Illinois and the Illinois Policy Institute had pushed hard for pension reform while the unions - and the Democrats they buy each election season - pushed to keep things as they are. The unions, the Chicago Sun-Times writes, won this round, no surprise to those observers that predicted the whole pension reform thing was a shrewdly-directed Democrat ploy to give the impression they were interested in changing things. Laughs on taxpayers.
“Thanks to the most potent grassroots lobbying campaign ever waged, we have blocked passage of a measure backed by leaders of both political parties and the biggest corporations in the state of Illinois,” Henry Bayer, executive director of AFSCME Council 31, said in a prepared statement.
Madigan and Cross issued a joint statement with Tyrone Fahner, the head of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, in announcing the pension-reform package was dead for the spring.
“Our goal is to enact reforms to our pension systems that provide a long-term solution for both those who are members of the pension systems and those who fund them,” their statement said.
“We will convene meetings over the summer to address the issues and concerns that have been raised and work toward a solution in this year’s fall veto session,” they said.