As Illinois staggers painfully toward pension reform, the suggestion appears in some news accounts and editorials that if Springfield would just pass one of the pending proposals — the Nekritz-Cross-Biss (NCB) version — then we could all breathe a deep sigh of relief. Illinois’ finances would be saved. Annual pension funding could be reduced by perhaps $2.3 billion, so the state’s financing of education, health care and safety-net programs could be restored. And Illinois could pay its bills. “Morning in Illinois.”
If only it were so.
1. First, NCB is not a “settlement.” If enacted it will face a union court fight. There are good arguments in its favor, but it’s far from a sure thing.