Will the state keep its promise? Are our pensions at risk?

With the defeat of the “Fair Tax” Referendum, numerous articles have appeared asking for a Constitutional Amendment that would address the state’s gigantic debt by empowering the state government to reduce pension benefits. Some states are already planning to reduce or eliminate pensions. Are our pensions in serious danger?

The UIC Chapter of SUAA [State Universities Annuitants Association] will present a webinar at 1 p.m Feb. 24. All current and retired employees of UIC and other state universities are invited. Please mark the date and time on your calendars. Details on how to access the webinar will be forthcoming.

Two very knowledgeable speakers will tell us about the future of our pensions.

Prof. Ann M. Lousin: Before joining the John Marshall Law School faculty in 1975, Ann Lousin was a research assistant at the Sixth Illinois Constitutional Convention in 1970 and a staff assistant to the Illinois House of Representatives from 1971 to 1975 where she was Parliamentarian of the House from 1973 to 1975.  She speaks and writes on issues of Illinois government and has written a book, The Illinois State Constitution: A Reference Guide, published in 2009. She is regarded as the premier authority on the Illinois Constitution.

Eric Madiar: Before launching his legal and lobbying practice, Eric Madiar most recently served as Chief Legal Counsel to Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton and was the Senate Parliamentarian from 2009-2014.  In that capacity, he was the Senate President’s point-person on a myriad of significant legislative matters, including public pension reform, a subject with which he remains actively involved.  He has written extensively on it, with four published articles to date, including the first comprehensive analysis of the Pension Protection Clause of the Illinois Constitution (Article IX, Section 5).  He is viewed as a leading authority on the issues surrounding public pension reform.

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