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Rahm's Pension Raid Bill — HB 3827 — goes for a committee hearing October 25 in Springfield

A bill that would allow Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to destroy all of the pension funds for city workers is currently working its way through committee in the Illinois General Assembly, under the guise of "pension reform" and a way to "end corruption." The corporate attack on democracy in the municipal worker pension funds of Chicago will be the subject of a hearing before the (Illinois) House Personnel and Pension Committee on Tuesday, October 25, 2011. The legislation, introduced by Republican representatives Tom Cross (Illinois House minority leader) and Darlene Senger is currently called "HB 3827". If passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, the legislation would give Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel control over all of the pension funds for Chicago city workers. Under the proposal, all of the funds would see the number of trustees reduced to seven (the number currently depends on the fund; the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund, CTPF, for example, has 12 trustees) with four of those appointed by the Mayor of Chicago.

State Rep. Darlene Senger (above) co-sponsored HB 3827 in order to take away the rights of Chicago police, firefighters, municipal workers, laborers and teachers under the guise of "pension reform" for Illinois. On October 12, 2011, during a "working group" in Chicago, Senger (above at that time) refused to answer any questions from Substance as to why she believed that the best way to reform Illinois pensions was to give the mayor of Chicago dictatorial control over the pensions of all Chicago workers, who prior to now had elected the majority of the trustees of their pension funds. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The so-called "pension reform" legislation, which was introduced by Cross and Senger on October 5, 2011, describes itself in its title as legislation to end what the Chicago Tribune has claimed has been "corruption" in the pension funds. But a close reading of the 31-page text of the proposed legislation shows that under the smokescreen of being an "anti-corruption" and "pension reform" legislation, the law would actually add to the potential corruption of all of the pension funds it would cover, by making the Mayor of Chicago the virtual dictator of the funds. The corporate media blitz on behalf of "pension reform" has been led by the bankrupt Chicago Tribune and by the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Civic Federation, and other representatives of Chicago's wealthiest. Currently, the groups involved are funding a series of advertisements screaming "Illinois is Broke" and demanding what they call "Pension Reform."

HB 3827 is scheduled for a hearing at 3:00 on October 25, 2011 in Springfield. The members of the Personnel and Pension Committee that is holding the hearing are: Chairperson : Kevin A. McCarthy (D); Vice-Chairperson : Elaine Nekritz (D); Republican Spokesperson: Raymond Poe (R);

Member: Daniel Biss; (D) ; Member: Daniel J. Burke (D) ; Member: Karen May (D) ; Member: Thomas Morrison (R); Member: Darlene J. Senger (R); Member: Dave Winters (R).

The pension funds under attack in the proposed legislation are:

Chicago Police

Chicago Firefighters

Chicago Municipal Employees

Chicago Laborers

Chicago Park District

Chicago Teachers

The same legislation would also give dictatorial control over Cook County workers' pensions by giving County Board President Toni Preckwinkle the power to appoint a majority of trustees to the County workers' fund.

Illinois Republican House leaders Tom Cross (above) told Substance that stripping the rights of teachers, firefighters, police, and other Chicago city workers to elect the trustees of their pension funds was democratic because the mayor of Chicago, who would get dictatorial control over the city's pension funds under HB 3827, co-sponsored by Cross, is elected by the citizens of Chicago.The so-called "reform" of each of the funds would provide that the mayor appoints a majority of the members of the board of trustees of each fund. Currently each of the fund elects the majority of its trustees. For example, the $10 billion Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) has 12 trustees. Of those, ten are elected by the group affected by the CTPF: Six of those are elected from current working teachers; three from among the retired teachers; and one from principals. Only two of the current trustees of the CTPF are appointed, two members of the Chicago Board of Education who are appointed by the Board of Education. Since 1995, the Board of Education members have been appointed by Chicago's mayor.

A summary of HB 3827 from the Illinois House Website follows:

97TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY, State of Illinois, 2011 and 2012, HB3827

Introduced , by Rep. Tom Cross - Darlene J. Senger. SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:

Amends the Illinois Pension Code. Provides that any reasonable suspicion by any appointed or elected commissioner, trustee, director, board member, or employee of a retirement system or pension fund created under the Code or the State Board of Investment of a false statement or falsified record being submitted or permitted by a person under the Code shall be immediately referred to the board of trustees of a retirement system or pension fund created under the Code or the State Board of Investment or the State's Attorney of the jurisdiction where the alleged fraudulent activity occurred, and that the board of trustees of a retirement system or pension fund or the State Board of Investment shall immediately notify the State's Attorney of the jurisdiction where any alleged fraudulent activity occurred for investigation; Amends the Chicago Police, Chicago Firefighter, Chicago Municipal, Chicago Laborers, Chicago Park District, and Chicago Teacher Articles of the Illinois Pension Code to terminate the existing pension boards 90 days after the effective date of the amendatory Act and to provide for a new board comprised of 4 members appointed by the Mayor of the City of Chicago and 3 elected members representing active members and annuitant members of the fund. Amends the Cook County Article of the Illinois Pension Code to terminate the existing board of trustees 90 days after the effective date of the amendatory Act and to provide for a new board comprised of 5 members appointed by the President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners and 4 elected members representing active and annuitant members of the fund. Effective immediately.

LRB097 13781 AMC 58340 b

The complete text of the 31-page bill, which was allegedly drafted by the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and given to Cross and Senger to introduce as an "anti corruption" legislation, can be found at:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=84&GA=97&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=3827&GAID=11&LegID=62112&SpecSess=&Session=

On Monday, October 24, 2011, the Retired Teachers Association of Chicago (RTAC) circulated a fact sheet on HB 3827. HB 3827 is one of two so-called "pension reform" bills currently before the Illinois General Assembly. The other, Senate Bill 512, would effectively destroy the current defined benefit pension plans and replace them with 401K plans. Members of RTAC and members of the Chicago Teachers Union will be lobbying in Springfield against the legislation (and against SB 512) on October 26. At press time Substance couldn't learn who would be at the hearings on October 25. The buses for Springfield sponsored by the CTU leave from the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, 1100 S. Hamilton, at 6:30 a.m. on October 26. (Parking is available at a low rate at the Juvenile Detention Center).

EVERYONE - PLEASE READ THE ATTACHED FACT

SHEET WITH THE DETAILS OF HB 3827 ASAP!

HB 3827 will reform the pension board giving control of ALL of

Chicago's Pension Boards to the Mayor of Chicago. It will be called

for a hearing on October 25, 2011 in the House Personnel and

Pension Committee.

Please tell your Representative to vote NO on this bill.

=====================================

We apologize if you received this as a duplicate message. A number of our e-mail addresses were scrambled on the original message and it did not go through to everyone.

-- RTAC

20 East Jackson Blvd.

Suite 1500

Chicago IL 60604-2235

312-939-3327



Comments:

October 25, 2011 at 3:14 PM

By: Sarah Loftus

HB 3827

I talked with Kevin McCarthy last week and he assured me that he opposed this and didn't think it would even come out of committee. We'll see...

October 26, 2011 at 11:44 PM

By: John Kugler

House Bill 3827 Update

* House Bill 3827 Update

State Representative Cross initially introduced HB3827 which would have had a negative impact on the makeup of our Pension Board in that it would have put the Board in the hands of the Mayor and his appointed members while placing our elected members in the minority. Today, Representative Cross pulled the bill out of committee. While this is a victory for the moment, the Lodge and our lobbyists will continue to monitor this particular bill. We will be diligent in protecting our members pension.

The Lodge would like to extend a hearty thank you to all of our members who called or emailed their State Representatives prior to the Personnel and Pension Committee meeting that was held this afternoon. [...]

FOP UPDATE:

Please do not let this victory stop you from coming down to Springfield to sound your voice in the battle that has been waged against our pensions. The Lodge has confirmed 180 officers will proudly be on the buses to Springfield tomorrow. We must let our voices be heard.

If you already planned on going, don't let this dissuade you. A good showing will demonstrate to the politicians we're serious about keeping this bill bottled up.

http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2011/10/hb-3827-pulled-for-now.html

Anonymous said...

Rahmbo's just pissed cuz he's on a losing streak. Cross pulled his pension grabber bill; no casino; his choice for Supt. is a dunderhead; the city is broke; and he has thousands of anarchists coming here to trash the place next May; he has totally alienated the Police & Fire Depts that he will need to preserve order; and the media is starting to lift the sewer lids & expose City Hall scandals. You knew all along that this guy was going to walk around naked screaming eventually, just as he did in Washington.

10/25/2011 09:43:00 PM

October 27, 2011 at 1:49 AM

By: Jay Rehak

Thanks to everyone who fought HB3827

I'd like to thank everyone who visited, called, emailed,or faxed there Representatives urging them to oppose this measure. Congratulations to the people who stood united on this. We need to continue to be ever vigilant. I'm sorry to say what we all know: the attacks will keep on coming. That said, it is important that we continue to remind our fellow citizens that the money in the Pension Fund is the members' money, not the politicians. It's our money, not theirs. Period.

October 29, 2011 at 10:29 AM

By: Jesus Ramirez

Thanks John Kugler

I am a teacher and I am very thankful to you and your team for looking out for us. Thank you Mr. Kugler for the work that you do. Thanks for notifying us about this bill. I contacted the Illinois Republican House leaders Tom Cross and let him know how I felt. Maybe what we need to do is get rid of all these republicans in the next elections.

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