Greg Baise, the president of the Illinois Manufacturers Association, is proposing dropping the provision in the Illinois Constitution that protects cuts in public-worker pension benefits.
It probably won't go anywhere, for now, but it's a start.
From Crain's Chicago Business:
Higher taxes may be needed along with other changes, Baise said. But what's really needed is to change a clause in the state constitution that the Illinois Supreme Court repeatedly has said fully protects pension benefits some say the state no longer can afford.Public-sector unions are just another wing of the Democratic Party.
"In what world do we live in where a $100 billion-plus pension obligation can be explained away by saying 'It's in the constitution'?" Baise asked. "A constitutional provision that was drafted in 1970 cannot and must not bankrupt this great state."
In a later interview, Baise conceded that the courts might balk at such an amendment. And getting it by voters would be no snap. But change nonetheless is needed, he said.
"Democrats and Republicans have both got to say, 'We need to get this problem under control,' " he said. "Nothing is so sacrosanct it can't change."
Also, there is another way. Who knows what financial shape Illinois will be in 2028--probably a bad one--but that year Prairie State voters will be asked if they would like to convene a state constitutional convention.
I say "Yes." Replace the current system with a 401K plan.