December 4, 2013 By: Mark Glennon
In yesterday’s hearings (more like a show trial) on the 325 page pension bill that most legislators had only a day to review, one young woman stood out: Rep. Jeanne Ives (R. Wheaton).
In the bill there’s an option for state workers to participate in a 401k-type plan instead of a pension, though only five percent of workers may do so — that’s to force most younger workers to stay in the pensions to subsidize older ones. Well, it turns out there’s also a provision that apparently allows for termination of the 401k-type plan in which case the money in it is forcibly taken and placed in the pension.
Ives questioned that, and told House Speaker Michael Madigan, “that’s something a rogue nation run by despots would do.” Watch the video here.
I’ves was also quoted in Bloomberg with this particularly to-the-point reasoning for opposing the bill: “We don’t have time for small reform, but that is what is before us.” That’s dead right because Illinois pensions will continue to deteriorate rapidly under this scheme.
Ives is a West Point graduate, which reminds me of one of the motto’s of the modern U.S. Army: “We see first, we know first, and we act decisively.” How perfectly opposite Illinois’ response to its pension crisis has been.
Ms. Ives, thanks for seeing, thanks for knowing and thanks for acting.