Forum: Backs Cullerton’s pension bill
May 21, 2013 9:54PM
Updated: June 23, 2013 6:47AM
If we are to have an honest dialogue about Senate Bill 2404, the pension reform legislation sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) and supported by the unions representing a half-million workers and retirees affected by the bill, we need to work with facts, not misrepresentations.
We find ourselves in this pension crisis because our political leaders failed to make the state’s required contributions year after year to its pension funds, even as employees faithfully made theirs. SB 2404 contains the most ironclad guarantee anyone has been able to devise to compel politicians to pay.
Pension reform in Illinois is not a competition to save the most and in turn hurt working families. SB 2404 is a more moral approach to fixing Illinois’ fiscal problems. Pensions are a promise made to employees and given protection by our state’s constitution.
Yet for decades the political leadership borrowed from public employees’ pension funds to pay for other programs — education, public safety, environmental protection and more. Why should public employees and retirees now be expected to bear the burden of paying back the money?
Our unions came only reluctantly to support SB 2404. We have done so because the alternative proposals before the General Assembly would make much harsher cuts to benefits that employees have already earned and paid for.
SB 2404 is the best opportunity before us to bring fiscal stability to the state’s pension funds and the state budget in a fair and responsible manner.
Michael T. Carrigan
On behalf of the We Are One Illinois coalition
Parking meter fiasco
Since the inception of the abominable parking meter deal brokered by former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, I am proud to relate that I have not used a single metered spot.
And I will not use a metered spot when you consider the obscene fees that are charged. Daley’s legacy is severely scarred by this terrible meter deal as well as his asinine destruction of Meigs Field.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is only looking to curry favor with the public with his grandstanding regarding the parking meter contract. His effort is all for naught.
Get a clue, alderman
Chicago Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) used the do-you-know-who-I-am defense to try to get out of a traffic ticket, and when that didn’t work with the white officer, he cried racism.
Here’s a memo to you, alderman (and movie stars, pols, athletes, etc.): Welcome to the world of us commoners, where it is refreshing to see the law crash down on those who arrogantly think they are above it.