teacher/poet/musician : Update for Pension Lawsuit: Motion Filed Today in the Circuit Court for…

teacher/poet/musician : Update for Pension Lawsuit: Motion Filed Today in the Circuit Court for…
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A writer must “know and have an ever-present consciousness that this world is a world of fools and rogues… tormented with envy, consumed with vanity; selfish, false, cruel, cursed with illusions…

Defined Benefit Pensions: The Solution to America’s Retirement Crisis

Lawyers will push to speed up pension reform ruling

Lawyers will push to speed up pension reform ruling
www.sj-r.com

Lawyers challenging last year’s pension reform law said they will make another attempt to get an expedited ruling in the case in the wake of the…

STATE PENSION LAWSUIT UPDATE!!!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 2014

Union coalition files motion to expedite pension lawsuit
Plaintiffs urge court to consider significant Kanerva v. Weems decision, seek judgment in their favor

SPRINGFIELD – Yesterday, the We Are One Illinois coalition, along with other plaintiffs, filed a motion in Sangamon County urging the Circuit Court to enter judgment in the plaintiffs’ favor on the State’s affirmative defense in light of the recent Supreme Court decision in the case of Kanerva v. Weems. The We Are One Illinois coalition and other plaintiffs assert that the Kanerva decision confirms that the Pension Protection Clause in the Illinois Constitution is absolute and without exception, even with respect to the fiscal circumstances alleged by the State in its defense.

The following quote may be attributed to We Are One Illinois:

“The Kanerva decision confirms what we have always argued, that the state’s constitutional language guards against any diminishment or impairment of pension benefits that Senate Bill 1 imposes. We believe, then, that the State’s defense is without merit and so have asked the Court in this motion to rule in our favor on the State’s defense that seeks to justify Senate Bill 1. We maintain that the constitution protects the hard-earned and promised retirement savings of our members and remain ready to work with any legislator willing to develop a fair and legal solution to our state’s challenges.”

In a decisive 6-1 vote this July, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in Kanerva v. Weems that the State’s provision of health insurance premium subsidies for retired state workers is a constitutionally protected pension benefit that the State is precluded from diminishing or impairing. The Court wrote:

“[I]t is clear that if something qualifies as a benefit of the enforceable contractual relationship resulting from membership in one of the State’s pension or retirement systems, it cannot be diminished or impaired … Giving the language of article XIII, section 5, its plain and ordinary meaning, all of these benefits, including subsidized health care, must be considered to be benefits of membership in a pension or retirement system of the State and, therefore, within that provision’s protections.”

Justice Charles Freeman, author of the Kanerva decision, noted:

“We may not rewrite the pension protection clause to include restrictions and limitations that the drafters did not express and the citizens of Illinois did not approve.”

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We are One Illinois is an unprecedented labor coalition working on behalf of over 1 million statewide members to protect public employee pensions. We Are One Illinois coalition members include the Illinois AFL-CIO, Illinois Education Association, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, AFSCME Council 31, Illinois Police Benevolent and Protective Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Service Employees International Union, Laborers International Union of North America Midwest Region, Illinois Public Pension Fund Association, National Pension Coalition, United Transportation Union, Laborers International Union of North America – Chicago District Council, AFSCME International Union, National Education Association, Fraternal Order of Police – Lodge 7 Chicago, Fireman’s Association of Chicago – Local 2, and Illinois Nurses Association.

Don’t let politicians cut public employees’ benefits
www.weareoneillinois.org

After a lifetime of service, public employees shouldn’t lose their pensions

BofA deal nets Illinois $300M

BofA deal nets Illinois $300M
eeditionmobile.chicagotribune.com

Illinois will receive a total of $300 million from the U.S. Justice Department’s $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America, ending a long-running probe into the marketing and sale of toxic mortgage securities to investors by the bank and its Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch units.

Public pension funds get share of BofA’s record $16.65 billion settlement

Public pension funds get share of BofA’s record $16.65 billion settlement
pionline.com

Several state pension funds are among the recipients of Bank of America Corp.’s $16.65 billion in fines and consumer relief to end federal and state probes into mortgage bond sales.

Pension change pushes teachers to retire

Pension change pushes teachers to retire
wishtv.com

School districts around Central Indiana have had to hire many more new educators this year than usual.

Illinois’ next pension crisis: Police, firefighter pensions

Illinois’ next pension crisis: Police, firefighter pensions – RebootIllinois.com
www.rebootillinois.com

With teacher pension reform in the books, the spotlight shifts to Public Safety Pensions and next fiscal crisis that awaits.

Unions Needed Now

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Washington state high court rules pension benefit reductions are constitutional

Washington state high court rules pension benefit reductions are constitutional
www.pionline.com

The Washington State Supreme Court upheld as constitutional two bills passed by the state Legislature in 2007 and 2011 that reduced benefits for some participants in several of the state’s pension funds.