Evanston aldermen are scheduled to vote this evening on a resolution asking the state legislature to do something about police and fire pensions.
As with the resolution the council recently adopted calling on the federal government to adopt comprehensive immigration reform, there's no particular reason to believe the pension resolution will have any measurable impact.
But unlike the immigration resolution, the pension proposal is extremely modest in its goals.
It meekly asks the legislature to stop the ruinous practice of caving into union demands for ever-enhanced pension benefits.
Instead it should demand that lawmakers:
- Roll back the benefit increases they've burdened municipal taxpayers with in recent years.
- Permit municipalities to switch from defined-benefit to defined-contribution plans for new hires in their police and fire departments.
- Develop a plan to role up the underfunded local public safety plans into a state-wide plan run on a fiscally-sound basis, such as what at least appears to be the case with the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.
If we're going to invest in the cost of paper to send a message to the legislature, at least the message should comprehensively address the problem.