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All articles by Glen Brown

Pension news update on Senate Bill 1... Courts taking a close look at politicians' claims while Quinn, Illinois leaders are trying to declare a 'State of Emergency' rather than improve revenues to meet obligations

Preamble to Senate Bill 1: “At the time of passage of this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly, Illinois has both atypically large debts and structural budgetary imbalances that will, unless addressed by the . . .

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Illinois' so-called 'Pension Reform' Is Without Legal and Moral Justification

…To possess a right to a promised deferred compensation, such as a pension, is to assert a legitimate claim with all Illinois legislators to protect that right. There are no rights without obligations. They are . . .

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ANALYSIS: Liars and thieves vote for 'pension reform'... State pension hopes now rest with lawsuit on constitutionality of what the General Assembly has done

It was passed by both houses of the Illinois General Assembly on December 3, 2013. Illinois Senate Bill 1, the So-called “Pension Reform” Bill (or Attempt to Break a Constitutional Contract with Public Employees and . . .

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Analysis of the Pension Theft deal... 'Since 1953, Illinois policymakers have consistently failed to make the annual required contributions to the state’s pension systems, primarily because they could then pay for services and their pet projects without raising taxes...'

“At the time of passage of this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly, Illinois has both atypically large debts and structural budgetary imbalances that will, unless addressed by the General Assembly, lead to even . . .

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Response to the Chicago Tribune's November 20, 2013 editorial on 'pension reform'

"Illinois' four legislative leaders have been meeting privately in an effort to carve out a pension reform deal. Only top staffers have been allowed in the room with them. No news conferences. No comment. Members . . .

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The right of Illinois teachers to our pensions is as old as our system of laws!... Rockford Rep. tries to destroy Illinois teacher pensions with attempt to amend the Illinois Constitution

As those who have been following the pension fights in the Illinois General Assembly know, the attacks on public worker pensions have been escalating, behind a smokescreen of news and analysis that claims Illinois will . . .

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HJRCA 49 -- Vote NO! on election day... House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 49 Is an Attempt to Diminish the Rights and Benefits of Public Employees

By now, most of us know what the “Pension Clause” or Article XIII (General Provisions), Section 5 (Pension and Retirement Rights) of the Illinois Constitution states: “Membership in any pension or retirement system of the . . .

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Corporate pension reformers are subverting the very foundations of American democracy... A closer look at Senate Bill 1673... Pension 'reform' proposals are illegal and immoral

Despite efforts by most of Chicago's corporate media (and most of the rest of the corporate media in Illinois), the current struggles over so-called "pension reform" in Illinois are not about biting the bullet, acting . . .

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Assumptions, Concerns and Questions Regarding the Illinois Teachers Retirement System’s Possible Insolvency and Conflicts

Executive Director Dick Ingram of the Teachers Retirement System of Illinois (TRS) includes a foreboding slide in his power-point presentation to his Town Hall audiences across the State of Illinois. It specifies (in case of . . .

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Poisoning the Pension Well: TRS Executive Director Dick Ingram’s Shift in Position

Has the TRS Executive Director Dick Ingram successfully contaminated any future evidence regarding the pension system’s sustainability, so that we do not have to evaluate any longer or refute the Civic Federation’s and Buck Consultants’ . . .

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The TRS mess... A View of the Illinois Public Pension Dilemma

Despite the fact that the State of Illinois entered into “an enforceable contractual relationship” (Article XIII, Section 5 of the state’s constitution) in 1970 of which benefits “shall not be diminished or impaired,” the State . . .

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Illinois Budget Deficit: Raising More Revenue Is the Right Solution for Needed Services and Pension Stabilization

Can the State of Illinois solve its budget problems without creating new revenue? The answer is no. If expenditures must at least equal revenues, then what needs to be done is to enhance the state’s . . .

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SB 512 — 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' — is back like Banquo's ghosts... Civic Federation skews 'research' to promote destruction of pension plans for public workers

The past theft of pension assets in Illinois was quite easy for a few governors and some legislators; even for other rogues, who bargained for money-enhancing incentives (spiking) for retiring public employees at the expense . . .

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Illinois or Should It Be Called Plutocraticstan?

One of John Stuart Mill’s concerns in his “Essay on Liberty,” written 153 years ago, was the potential tyranny of the majority to suppress the minority. Had he lived today, he would have written a . . .

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Civic Committee and Chicago Tribune continue attack on public worker pensions... Are We Ready for Illinois “Pension Reform” Mania Again

All we can hope for now is that Governor Quinn and Illinois legislators make an ethical and legal decision regarding their single-minded “pension reform” (as if this is the sole solution for the current state’s . . .

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The Illinois Pension Problems... Sustainability, Affordability and Constitutionality: Are They Compatible?

How do we balance sustainability of the public pension system, affordability for the State of Illinois, and constitutionality (Bob Lyons, TRS Trustee)? Legislators realize that the cost of ramping up payments to address the unfunded . . .

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Pension Hybrid Plans, Constitutional Challenges, and the Ethical Path to Take

Recently, a colleague sent me a brief about the State of Rhode Island’s pension reform. That state’s current reform proposal features a hybrid plan that combines a defined-benefit and defined-contribution plan. Imagine an option that . . .

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Tax Reform! Not Pension Reform, Budget Cuts and Tax Breaks for the Wealthy

Although SB 512, which would have put Illinois teacher pensions (at least the defined benefit plans) on the road to doom, has been stopped for now, it will take one last breath on November 29, . . .

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Corporatists on the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club launch major attack on teacher and other public worker pensions

Have you seen the latest "Illinois Is Broke" ad? It's staged in a mockup classroom with a phony teacher’s casual pleading: “I want to talk to you about basic math: Illinois is broke. It’s bad . . .

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No 'conflict of interest' as State Rep. Darlene Senger tries to push defined benefit pensions into 401K type plans... It's how the 'free market' system works, after all

To understand free market economic theory is to recognize the schemes of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and its connection to legislators such as Darlene Senger, who is a “licensed financial . . .

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A Response to the Chicago Tribune and the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago... Civic Committee and Tribune continue propaganda attack on teacher pensions in Illinois

Are the articles in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune (October 23, 2011) regarding Steven Preckwinkle, David Piccioli and Reg Weaver just another blatant, diversionary attempt to shift blame for the financial woes of this state on the . . .

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