Now that the Illinois Supreme Court has overturned the Illinois Pension Reform Act, the Resolution opposing the States defunding of municipalities through a tax goodie is moot. There are many who will try to pin the blame on the new governor, and some, especially those who won’t do their due diligence will buy into that hooey.
The truth here is that, at the State level,the government pension systems have been underfunded for many years mainly because they used overly optimistic estimates for their investment returns. The Wall Street fueled collapse and resulting losses just made things many times worse. Sadly, the local governmental agencies have made the same egregious errors expecting largess to come from a now admittedly bankrupt State of Illinois.
There IS a solution, although no one, not the politicians, not the unions and certainly not the taxpayers are going to like it… it will be very bitter medicine, indeed. #1 Admit Politicians promised to much to retiring Gov’t employees, (in the case of Morton Grove, just look to the police and fire pensions, how much they have been underfunded. The unions milked the public while in bed with the politicians).
#2 Government employee unions have co-ownership of the Pension funding mess by demanding so much in taxpayer paid giveaways. (think pay-to-play politics). Just how many union dollars have gone into the campaigns of village, township and school-boards?
#3 No current or past Government worker\retiree has done anything wrong in collecting (or expecting to get) the retirement benefits promised them. They did the work, they deserve the promised reward. #4 FACTS ARE >>> MISTAKES were made (and now got to FIX THE MISTAKES OF THE PAST) promising what the politicians knew then Taxpayer could never afford to honor in the future. #5 It’s not a question of IF WE FIX ARE MISTAKES OF THE PAST… SIMPLY A MATTER OF WHEN WE MAN UP TO THE FACT WE HAVE NO CHOICE… i.e. We can’t possibly pay more out to retired government workers then we do to pay for Public schools and State Government services.
#6 Future State employees retirement plans are what MUST BE CHANGED… Those already retired should not suffer from the mistakes of the past… It’s not their fault politicians (and Government Employee unions) were stupid enough to give away pension perks we never possibly could afford.
#7 Doesn’t matter if changing the Taxpayer Paid State pension rules (Game) is unfair… We gotta do what we gotta do IN THE FAIREST WAY POSSIBLE (to Taxpayers and FUTURE government employees who retire)
#8 Bottom-line…. Government Employees deserve no more (and no less) than what is typically offered retiring employees in the Private sector.
#9 There are HUGE COSTS to even a few years of early retirement… same for compounding COLA increases, overly generous survivor benefits and discounted (even free) retirement health care coverage.
#10 End the boondoggle of taxpayer giveaways (many times Cash Bonuses) just to bump up end-of-career earnings artificially inflating LIFETIME + COLA State Workers retirement checks, (that has been especially egregious in the case of teachers at the Niles High Schools).
The question facing Morton Grove now is EXACTLY WHAT IS PRESIDENT DiMARIA’S PLAN? He needs to come out with it clearly in plain language so that we know where we stand and what the village is going to do to solve this crisis we face.