Rauner: Amending State Constitution May Be the Solution
If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And if the constitution prevents pension reform, make the constitution work for it. That appears to be the message of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R), whose office suggested as much as soon as the Illinois Supreme Court upended
the state pension reform law.
According to The Quad City Times
, Rauner Communications Director Lance Trover said on May 8 that amending the constitution to make a distinction between benefits currently earned and those not yet earned should be part of the answer to the state’s pension woes. Doing so “would allow the state to move forward on common-sense pension reforms,” said Trover.
Rauner is not alone in that view. Reboot Illinois reports that in his statement in the wake of the ruling, State Rep. Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) did not stop at discussing the need to address the unfunded pension obligation. Morrison also noted that the court cited language in the state constitution
what says that benefits cannot be diminished or impaired. Said Morrison, “Until we amend that language, efforts to reform the pension systems will likely fail.”The Quad City Times
also reports that on May 11, Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said that the governor will work with the legislature on the budget and pension plan problems, but would not say that Rauner or his staff are readying a proposal to amend the constitution.