Universities to Governor: Don’t Diminish Employee Pensions

Public universities in Illinois are
asking Gov. Pat Quinn not to cut retirement benefits for current
employees in his plan to overhaul state pension programs.
Presidents and chancellors of 15 schools recently signed a
letter urging Quinn to consider their ability to attract top
faculty talent and not to take away “promised benefits” to
current employees.
Governors State University President Elaine Maimon
says Quinn and legislative leaders have listened to the colleges’
concerns.
Quinn wants to require state employees to contribute more to
their pensions, pay more to keep certain benefits, retire later and
require schools and universities to contribute.
The May 3 letter also seeks a “reasonable” transition to
university contributions, a guarantee of proper state funding in
the future and more.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
APN7/8 05-14-12 1534CDT<

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One Response to Universities to Governor: Don’t Diminish Employee Pensions

  1. Al Moncrief says:

    “COLORADO PERA AND THE QUEST FOR ACTUARIAL NECESSITY” by A. Moncrief

    It was the ninth year of the new millennium and deep in the bowels of the PERA administration building, long after the private equity guys had left for martinis at the Cruise Room, PERA’s legal staffers remained and practiced their dark arts.

    Methodically, these alchemists of jurisprudence closed in on the formula for that most mysterious and invaluable of substances “actuarial necessity.” The young lawyers worked feverishly recalling the words of their PERA Board Chairman “Get me some actuarial necessity or it’s you’re A**! Capice?!”

    Months passed, but eventually their efforts bore fruit, and the formula for “actuarial necessity” was determined. A misty-eyed PERA legal staffer presented the formula for “actuarial necessity” to the PERA Board.

    “Combine one part Subterfuge, two parts Duplicity, stir, don’t beat . . . add five parts Collusion, sprinkle one part Chicanery, blend four parts Treachery, and three parts Deceit . . . in the caldron boil and bake, cool it with a retiree’s blood!”

    The PERA Board was euphoric, the Board Chairman remarking “I’m proud of you son, you have the makings of a General Counsel!”

    This discovery rocked the State House.

    The prospect of limitless state resources triggered widespread bipartisan rejoicing. The Doctor of the Day could not staunch the bleeding of the liberal hearts. The conservatives celebrated with a welfare mom open pit roast.

    Within the year, the General Assembly had launched its own facilities for the manufacture of “actuarial necessity” in the Capitol’s sub-basement.

    A new legislative era was born.

    In order that the Members of the House of Representatives might easily know when an “actuarial emergency” exists, the Speaker of the House installed a flashing red “actuarial emergency indicator light” on the podium. A low siren sounds when the “actuarial emergency indicator light” is illuminated (a nice touch, lending an appropriate “crisis” atmosphere to the Chambers.)

    Under newly adopted House Rules, when the indicator light is flipped “on” an actuarial emergency exists, and all legal state debts and obligations may be met with “actuarial necessity” in lieu of hard cash.

    The state’s Revenue Forecast became “the Revenue and Actuarial Necessity Forecast.”

    The state’s economists observed a strange correlation between dips in state revenues, and spikes in state production of “actuarial necessity.”

    The Appropriations Committee became the “Committee on Appropriations and Actuarial Necessity.”

    The House Journal of January 17, 2013 provides an excellent illustration of the new law-making environment.

    Journal of the Colorado House of Representatives, January 17, 2013

    Speaker of the House: “The House will come to order.”

    “The Speaker recognizes Representative Tubstrangler.”

    “Ah, thank you, ah, Mr. Speaker, ah I request that the actuarial emergency light be switched on, and that we pay for the new overpass at I-25 and 128th, sixty percent with cash and forty percent with “actuarial necessity.”

    “The clerk will switch on the actuarial emergency indicator light.”

    “All in favor?” “Opposed?” “The ayes have it.”
    Contractors Association lobbyist in the Gallery: “Bummer.”

    “The Speaker recognizes the Representative from Pumpkin Center.”

    “Excuse me Mr. Speaker, it’s pronounced ‘Punkin Center.’”

    “The Speaker refers the question to the Interim Study Committee on Municipal Nomenclature.”

    “Thank you Mr. Speaker, I move that $100 million in state revenue be distributed among Aspen homeowners who are over 65, and that the actuarial emergency light be switched off.”

    “Motion passes without objection.”

    “The Speaker recognizes Representative Pace from Pueblo, ‘the Home of the Heroes.’”

    “Mr. Speaker, I move the PERA Annual Required Contribution Act, and request that the actuarial emergency light be switched off.”

    “Clerk, switch off the indicator light.”

    “Point of Order Mr. Speaker!”

    “What is it Representative Prim?”

    “Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleague from Pueblo refrain from the use of obscenities on the House Floor.”

    “The member will watch his language.”

    “I will Mr. Speaker, I bring before you the Ann . . ., er, a bill to meet this year’s state obligation to our pension system, Colorado PERA.”

    “Mr. Speaker, as you know, I have introduced this legislation each year for the last decade, each year the bill has been summarily killed; nevertheless, I intend to continue to introduce the bill until it receives the serious consideration of this body . . . and I now move for its adoption.”

    “The Speaker recognizes Representative Welcher.”

    “Thank you Mr. Speaker, I offer a substitute motion that the Colorado PERA Annual Required Contribution Act of 2013 be postponed indefinitely, and that the actuarial emergency light be switched on.”

    “Clerk flip the switch.”

    “All in favor?” “Opposed?” “Motion passes.”

    “Yes, Representative Pace.”

    “Mr. Speaker, in the spirit of compromise I move that the General Assembly initiate a study of the Ann . . ., er, the state’s pension obligations to be called the Interim Study Committee on Public Pensions, and I further move that you appoint such a committee.”

    “The Speaker recognizes Representative Tubstrangler.”

    “Ah, thank you, ah, Mr. Speaker, I stand to remind the honorable representative of the Democrat Party that ah, such profligate appointment of unnecessary study committees may very well be the ruin of our fair state.”

    Speaker: “Representative Pace’s motion dies for lack of second.”

    “Anything further Representative Tubstrangler?”

    “Yes, ah, Mr. Speaker I move that the following bills be added to the Special Orders Calendar; the ah, Colorado Commie Higher Education Annihilation Act of 2013, and the Colorado Omnibus Corporate Welfare Act of 2013.”

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