Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sandack: "Ruling Ramifications Will Be Nothing Short Of Financially Devastating For The State & For Municipalities"

State Representative Ron Sandack is out today with an op-ed in Illinois Review regarding the far-reaching ramifications of the recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling on health care benefits for retirees.

Sandack also importantly notes that the State of Illinois isn't the only party that has to deal with the fall-out, but municipalities around the State will have some tough decisions to make.

From the piece:
Severe cuts to services, raising taxes significantly or amending our IL Constitution might be our only options for fixing Illinois' financial crisis after the Illinois Supreme Court ruled on July 3 that health insurance premiums are a benefit that is protected by the Illinois Constitution. It is a devastating blow to the State, which was relying on retiree contributions to their health care costs as a means for helping shore up the massively-underfunded state pension systems.

...Many believe Thursday's ruling sets the stage for the recently passed pension reform bill, SB01, to be found unconstitutional. While I fully respect the court's decision, I was admittedly surprised by the justices' expansive interpretation of the constitutional language as it relates to health care and how it will likely relate to our pension reform bill. 
With this ruling guiding future decisions, I believe the ultimate ramifications will be nothing short of financially devastating for the State and for municipalities that also must provide for employee pensions.

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