A business group says Illinois voters have rewarded failure, and the state pension problem is now “unfixable.” The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago has released a memo to members, as well as a letter to the governor. “Illinois has become the poster child for state finances gone awry,”the letter says.
Ty Fahner, president of the committee, says, “The (voters) of Illinois, if they made a decision, it was probably not knowing, which seems to be nothing new. I can’t believe anyone voted for fiscal failure of the pensions or the state budget. So I’d rather put it that they’ve shown their confidence that our legislative leaders, all four of whom have seen the problem grow from a little to a lot, will be inspired to prove us wrong and to actually do something to fix the pensions and, therefore, help fix the state.”
The memo says you cannot call a bill“pension reform” without:
- Eliminating cost-of-living raises
- Adding a pensionable salary cap
- Raising the retirement age to 67
- Phasing in a cost shift to local government employers
“We want to see the people who paid in get their pensions,” Fahner says, “or at least a good part of them.”