One of the things at the top of Mayor Emanuel’s to-do list has been pension reform, but he’s stuck waiting for the state legislature to do… whatever it is the state legislature is going to do. That’s not to say that progress hasn’t been made; there’s a reasonably narrow list of options that are likely to end up a final bill.
The real trick is making sure it’s constitutional. As I explain in this month’s column, it’s a tough trick to pull off. There are options, none of them remotely a sure thing, and even deciding which option is less unlikely to make it through the courts is a guessing game.
The other option is getting union and employee buy-in: perhaps infernally difficult at the state level, but shown to be possible at the city level, even the metropolis level. One mayor who pulled it off is San Francisco’s Ed Lee; a post on The Atlantic Cities explains how he went about it.