Just in time for Teacher Appreciation Week, Michael Madigan managed to push through pension legislation that will leave many public servants with a choice between food and medical care in their golden years. As a special bonus, they increased the age for retirement for the second time in less than 5 years. Hopefully, this won’t make it out of the Senate, but if you are a public school teacher who dreams of eating food not meant for pets and maybe even having enough money to visit the grandkids once a year, I really recommend calling your State Senator. I do hope that the House members that voted for this someday need a 72 year old public servant to drag them from a burning building or chase down a mugger.
Democrats have really been angering me today. In addition to this bill was the news that Obama was appointing Penny “Heat Lamps” Pritzker as Secretary of Commerce. Harry Truman once said, “When given a choice between a Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, voters will invariably vote for the Republican.”
“The speaker, who Wednesday predicted Supreme Court sign-off on his plan, justified his move to exempt judges from the pension pain during floor debate Thursday. ‘Judges were excluded as a practical decision,’ Madigan explained. ‘We anticipate this matter will be before the Illinois court system and Illinois Supreme Court, and the absence of the judicial pension system in the bill will relieve them of the burden of dealing with a conflict of interest.’
“Gabel should be ashamed. She voted to cut the pensions of retired career teachers in the state who receive no Social Security and half of whom have pensions of less than $50,000 a year after 35 years of teaching. They will be denied access – the right to PAY FOR – state health insurance if they choose to keep their cost of living. It is nothing less than heartless on the one hand and one more attack on the teaching profession on the other.”
“The truth is that Saunders-Wolfe and her coalition are part of an unprincipled alliance of old-line union sell-outs and even some disgruntled former progressives, who otherwise hate each other and who were run out of leadership in years past. Now this unseemly alliance is being propped up with lots of money coming from outside sources. One can only guess who’s footing the bill for a string of upcoming TV ads blaming the union for school closings and for the wave of teacher bashing and assaults of public employees.”
This just keeps getting deeper and deeper.
“The Chicago Public Schools and I are locked in this weird relationship drama. We need each other badly, for as much as their free, full-day preschool program in a diverse neighborhood school means to me, my three high-test-scoring, college-bound kids are vitally important to them. But, somehow, as much as we want to make this work, our breakup has begun to feel inevitable.”
“And it did. That Board voted to turn around Fenger, going against the expressed will of the community, and pushing ahead in the face of warnings about instability and violence. The aftermath of that decision–indeed, of all the decisions to which Fenger, Calumet, and Englewood area families were subjected–is part of the collective memory of Chicago now.”