By Benjamin Yount | Illinois Statehouse News
On Thursday, the governor signed into law House Bill 3813, which prevents some members of labor unions from cashing-in on publicly backed pensions. The new law takes effect immediately, but would nullify benefits retroactively for a handful of union leaders and lobbyists.
He added that lawmakers must work to “tackle the remaining pension challenges,” but he did not explain those particular challenges.
The media this fall described Chicago union leaders using their years in union jobs, not to mention their higher union salaries, to boost their publicly backed municipal pensions.
But the Chicago union leaders and the lobbyists did nothing illegal. A 1991 law allows that private-to-public double-dipping.
Cross, who sponsored the legislation Quinn signed Thursday, has said for months that pension reforms are needed.
Hitt said the solution is sweeping reforms that change how much the state pays for retirement for current workers.
“The issue that people are raising is the question that to what extent you can change the benefits for current employees,” Currie said.
Lawmakers in 2010 created a two-tiered pensions system, but that only applied to workers hired after Jan 1 2011.
The Illinois House’ lawyer, David Ellis, testified at a legislative hearing in December that because of the Illinois Constitution’s pension guarantees, the new law may not enforceable.
The IFT has said the law is unconstitutional because it takes away benefits that their lobbyists had earned. The union supported another measure that would close the 1991 loophole for future union employees.
“The intentional act of working just one day to get access to a public benefit, there is no argument that that is in any way for the public good,” said Raoul.
Originally reported by Illinois Statehouse News. Read the original article here.