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Doing IL public pension reform legally

 

Why do IL legislators and civic leaders who speak so vehemently about reforming the various IL public pension systems by taking away or even reducing earned benefits from those who are current employees and retirees think they can simply ignore the "pension clause" of the 1970 IL Constitution that clearly states that public pensions are contractual obligations of the state? How are they so arrogant that they seem to think they can pick-and-choose which parts of the state's constitution they want to follow and which they want to simply ignore? Wake-up all you legislators who failed contract law! Since pensions are contracts that means that pension reform can't be done unilaterally deciding that the rules have changed. The IL Constitution, the United States Constitution and the historical progression of contractual laws all say it simply can't be done that way! So, why are all these people wasting the public's time with the charade that the IL government can treat its public employees and retirees in ways that are clearly illegal? This whole current set of reform proposals is a waste of time and energy, political "grand-standing" at best and will not stand up against a legal challenge by those so affected! Let's solve the problem in the only ways legally possible: (1) raising the state's revenues, (2) decreasing its discretionary spending, (3) doing some combination thereof, or (4) recognizing the reality that contractual obligations can only be altered by a mutual agreement between the state and its employees and retirees or their representatives and where the state offers "financial consideration" to entice those directly affected to allow any pension reforms to happen at all. That's how contracts can be changed and stay changed! To think otherwise is simply folly.