Suburban voters: fix public pensions

Judging by the election results, you might think that reforming the extravagent pensions that public employees receive in Illinois wasn't high on the voters' minds. Friends (i.e. those who harvest campaign money from

Senior Man Relaxing in Garden

organized labor), especially Gov. Pat Quinn and House Speaker Michael Madigan keep their grip on the top spots.

But what hasn't been noticed much is that in communities were referendums were on the ballot asking what voters thought about the pensions, a large majority said they should be reformed.

This wasn't missed by Jerry Moore, a commentator for Suburban Life Publications. He noted that:

A nonbinding advisory referendum on the ballot in many communities asked
voters if they wanted the Illinois General Assembly and governor to
reform pensions for public-safety employees without further burdening
local taxpayers. Of the 21 towns in the western suburbs where some
version of the referendum appeared, more than 70 percent of voters
responded yes.

Moore's piece is informative and interesting, well worth the read. But with Democrats wanting the state to take out a $4 billion loan to pay the state pension funds, you wonder if they got the message.


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  • Of course, as everyone but Quinn will tell you, an advisory referendum is meaningless.

    And, as you note, the main advocate of advisory referenda, in general, won't get the message, nor his Bernandin amendment, whatever the bleep that was that he was putting on the ballot without the Cardinal's approval to use his name.

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