On June 30, 1989, the Illinois Senate debated Senate Bill 95, a mammoth, "omnibus" pension bill that made more than 100 changes to the state pension code. For taxpayers, public employees and the five public pension systems controlled by state government, however, the bill made one change that, arguably, set the course for the pension crisis that plagues the state today.
Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday declared that Illinois state employees who do not wish to belong to a union can no longer have "fair share" fees deducted from their paychecks. In doing so, he likely set in motion a legal proceeding that will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court and could have a major effect in labor law across the country.
When the Senate approved the omnibus spending bill to prevent the government from shutting down, it also delivered a blow to some retirees who collect pensions. In a little-discussed provision of the bill, certain multi-employer pension plans were given the go-ahead to reduce pension checks to current recipients by up to 60 percent. Didn't see that coming, did you?