The We Are One Illinois coalition of labor unions and a group of active and retired public employees filed a lawsuit in Springfield Tuesday seeking to overturn the controversial statewide pension reform measure Gov. Pat Quinn recently signed into law.
The following comes from Michael T. Carrigan, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO, on behalf of the We Are One Colaition in response to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's refusal to attend the pension summit to which the coalition recently invited legislative leaders.
We Are One Illinois regrets that Speaker Madigan has indicated he
will not participate in the Pension Summit proposed by our union
coalition. Our summit is a demonstration of good faith and commitment to
seeking to solve the state’s pension funding problem in a way that is
fair and constitutional.
Our coalition has already put forward a
plan that addresses the intertwined problems of inadequate revenues and
underfunded pensions. It would end the practice of politicians shorting
actuarially required payments to the retirement funds; ease state budget
pressures by closing wasteful tax loopholes, especially for big
corporations; and require active public employees to pay more toward the
pensions they earn and rely on. Our plan would provide at least $2.35
billion a year to stabilize the retirement funds, while preventing cuts
to retirees who worked hard and played by the rules.
Illinois labor representatives and U.S. Reps. Jan Schakowsky
(D-Evanston) and Bill Foster (D-Naperville) gathered in Chicago this morning on a national day of mobilization to call on House
Republicans to stop holding families and seniors hostage in the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations.
The Washington lawmakers,
along with members of the Chicago Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO and advocates for the poor and middle class, stressed that tax loopholes for
Wall Street and the richest Americans be closed instead of cutting
Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits.
about real people who will suffer real pain if the wrong decisions are
made,” said William McNary of Citizen Action Illinois.