The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Letters to the Editor

July 31, 2013

Back at square one

Back at square one

Editor:

Imagine Illinois passed a law impairing its obligations to state pension plan participants. That law would doubtless be challenged in state court, and even assuming the Illinois Supreme Court upheld it, things could get interesting.

Long ago the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that state pension obligations are contractual and furthermore, despite actuarial underfunding already developing, that plan participants have no legal recourse until and unless Illinois actually fails to deliver a required payment to some individual participant. This has permitted Illinois to kick the can down the road for 40 years.

The U. S. Constitution contains two pertinent items. The Supremacy Clause (Article 6, Clause 2) states: “This Constitution shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby.” The Contracts Clause (Article 1, Section 10, Clause 1) states: “No State shall pass any Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts” A federal court could, under the Supremacy Clause, hear an appeal to the law and then evaluate its conformity to the Contracts Clause.

Since the state is one party to the contracts at issue, a past U.S. Supreme Court ruling requires a higher level of scrutiny to any modifications of those contracts. Denial of petitioners at any step in this scenario would appear subject to appeal, with potential temporary stays blocking implementation, all the way up to the U. S. Supreme Court.

Thus, Springfield could end up back at square one, with significant time lost, by their embarrassing, increasingly desperate scramble for a cheap, barely legitimate pension “fix.”

Lynn McLinden

Danville

 

 

1
Text Only
Letters to the Editor
  • Life spent helping others Life spent helping others Editor: For more than 50 years, on the first Sunday in March, they came from as far away as California, New York, Detroit, Dallas, the state of Florida and all throughout the Midwest to witness the glitz, glamour and fashion

    April 23, 2014

  • Wrong time for minimum wage hike Wrong time for minimum wage hike Supporters of raising minimum wage, despite good intentions, do not end up helping the ones who need it the most. An example would be a single mother of one child faces a marginal tax rate of 91 percent when her pay

    April 22, 2014

  • Son does well at Liberty

    Editor: My son, Nathaniel, attends school at Liberty Elementary School.

    April 20, 2014

  • Races charge too much Editor: Runners and walkers must beware this summer. Some 5K (3.1 mile) fundraising events will again be way overcharging. Most are put on for good causes, but it’s not a good cause to overcharge people for something they sweat for.

    April 20, 2014

  • Fight the proposed coal mine Fight the proposed coal mine Editor: In a single issue of St. Joseph's The Leader, dated March 5, one can find four events listed that testify to our love of the natural world: a bird walk, a lecture on freshwater mussels, a pre-K event at Homer Lake

    April 18, 2014

  • Searching for answers Searching for answers Editor: I'm certainly not saying the city's firefighters don't need or deserve an increase of funds, but I would like to better understand why. Why do they feel they need more personnel than the national average of 1.04 per 1000

    April 17, 2014

  • Advocate will be missed Editor: We at Community Blood Services of Illinois are saddened by the recent death of Patricia Black, a wonderful and dedicated employee who was known to a generation of local blood donors. Pat was a tireless advocate for the Danville Elks Blood Ban

    April 16, 2014

  • Social workers earn praise Editor: March was National Social Work month. The 2014 theme was "All People Matter." I personally want to say "thank you" to the social workers. I am a registered nurse and have worked in many different health care settings from acute hospital care

    April 13, 2014

  • Neighborhood going downhill Editor: Home owners and the few good rentals of southeast Danville are concerned about Fair Oaks in their neighborhood. Well, wake up people. Unless you have been in a coma or frozen for the past five years or more, these kinds of people and many wor

    April 13, 2014

  • Submit Your Letter!

    March 26, 2010

E-edition
AP Video
NDN Video
Must Read