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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Illinois pension theatre: no pay for you!

So, the 10 member legislative supercommittee missed their deadline of July 9 for a solution.  This was not a surprise, since they took a while to start meeting and mostly either restated their previous incompatible positions or criticized the governor.

Now, the governor has announced he’ll stop salaries:

Gov. Pat Quinn said today he is suspending state lawmakers' pay until they come up with a comprehensive solution to the state's public pension mess, a dramatic gesture that is likely to increase tension with the General Assembly and the fellow Democrats who lead it.

Surely this is frontier justice: the legislature has ducked the issue for many years instead of solving it, the fiscal crises are the most important issues facing the state, so what are we paying them for, anyway? 

Except for this:

1. How is this actually going to help an atmosphere of compromise?

2. It’s not clear this is constitutional. A constitutional fight over this issue is just another distraction from the task at hand.

3. The pay is suspended, not forfeited, so eventually they will get paid.

So, it’s just more theatre, creating the appearance of work being done on the problem while little real work seems to be getting done.

Previous posts on this tragedy:

http://mikekr.blogspot.com/2013/07/fwd-high-fees-dont-lead-to-better.html

http://mikekr.blogspot.com/2013/06/illinois-pension-debacle-now-committee.html

http://mikekr.blogspot.com/2013/06/illinois-pension-theatre-thumbs-down.html

http://mikekr.blogspot.com/2013/06/illinois-pension-theatre-next-act.html