Monday, May 11, 2009

State Pensions... the debate begins in the Senate

According to the Globe, the Senate will take up the task of the pension abuses and reforms. This may sound great, but they (the legislature) are the same people who will benefit from leaving everything alone. Under the existing laws, 93 out of 200 members are on track to be eligible for early enhanced pensions. And guess who else weighs in on this?... the Judges. Now here's a fight worth watching. They have come out against anything that would affect them and their pensions, calling it unfair. It shirley is unfair, when elected officials get an enhanced pension when they are terminated or lost an election. And if these guys live to 80, they give over a half a million in retirement. This boils down to whether the reforms should be retroactive and include everyone in the system now as well as the future.

Also this week... the dreaded Senate budget debate begins. What we all should be concerned with is the raiding of the "rainy day fund" and more importantly, the use of stimulus money to shore up next years revenue losses. Deval has pledged to veto anything that does not have the meaningful reforms he's asked for... but as we know from the past few months, he seems to be exempt from the idea.

The House rejected an amendment last week to make it easier for privatization of State Services. 17 to 141. In essence, they are protecting the State employees from reasonable competition. Bad for us.. good for them... and they are the people who vote.

During the week of May 4 to 8, the House met for 27 minutes and the Senate met for 2 hours.


At May 12, 2009 at 11:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know if this dumby who was caught texting and crashed his train is going to be eligible for a pension even if he get terminated? You know there will be some lawsuit filed there if they do fire him, or is it her?

At May 12, 2009 at 2:33 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Wouldn't that be a kick in gut? He/she, doesn't matter, if something's not right it's wrong and texting while driving anything is wrong. Past driving offenses I guess don't matter when you drive a train. I just hope they don't need those trains fixed now... it will only add to the already financial strapped T.

At May 12, 2009 at 2:54 PM , Blogger Eric said...

For me, the most interesting part of this post was the amount of time the people at the State House actually met last week. They stand up and tell us that this is a crisis like we have never seen before, they talk about the gloom and doom of the budget with revenues down so much, but then they don't meet to discuss this. I don't care what they say about meeting privately even when they are not in session. They should be meeting in the state house, and on the record, so the public knows what is going on. THis is not the time to be making back door deals. Those deals are part of what got us into this position. As for the pensions, at this rate, their won't be any money to fund them anyway, so why even worry about it?

At May 12, 2009 at 3:01 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Eric.. and how true that is. It's crisies time and Senate President Murray flies off to Ireland and her lackeys spend two hours on the States problems.

I think even the hard core loyalsists must be wondering what the hell their party is doing and at what point do they admit they are not getting the job done.

At May 12, 2009 at 3:53 PM , Blogger Anderson said...

You are so on about them not even considering past driving offenses when they gave this person the position of driving around our citizens on a train. I think we should have the right to see the driving records of all the MBTA drivers. We sure can not depend on the MBTA to police this themselves. Much like this pension reform stuff. How can you give the power for deciding how much pension you are going to get to the person who will be getting the check? I consider myself an honest person, but if I could determine how much my pension check was going to be, then I sure would be getting a lot more than I will be getting with someone else deciding that amount!

At May 12, 2009 at 4:16 PM , Blogger Old soldier said...

Pension reform is a must! How do we find out how much of the budget is actually paid on paying pensions? I am not worried about the guy who was a janitor for the state for 30 years and is now retired. I am wondering about the guy who was a rep for one term and his collecting a check. Where can we find that information? Jim, you always know how to find this stuff out. Can you get that type of information for us?

At May 12, 2009 at 4:57 PM , Blogger Derek said...

Tell me, what motivation do you think there is to reform the pension system by people who are going to benefit from it? Isn’t that like inviting the bank robber in to design the security system at your bank?

At May 12, 2009 at 5:29 PM , Blogger 50 stud said...

I think this is going to be another case of nothing good happening for the taxpayer. I think an outside consultant should be hired to do the job of assessing the pension system, and they should be able to enforce their findings, and release them to the public. Not everyone has that right to a whopper of a pension. FIrnesscaould prevail!

At May 12, 2009 at 5:32 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...


That info is not easily gotten from Cahills office, since he's the main man in charge. I will ping the web site and see what I can find. It may turn out that, like the Globe did a weeks ago, we would have to file freedom of information acts with Cahills office. I would bet, there's many more sleazy pensioners like X lawmakers out there and I do believe, this States Stimulus Czar is getting retirement and a salary.

let me work on that.

At May 12, 2009 at 5:42 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Derek.. 50.. agreed.. but this now is more than just mid year politics. Cahill will play this out until he runs out of gas or the AG or some judge rules that pensions from the past are not to be touched under contractual law. Something I know little about, but the public, Globe and Herald will demand fairness and will not forget this, which is why Deval is using his bully pulpit to draw attention to it.

The pension system has to go away and everyone gets a 401 instead, like the rest of us, is the only fair way to make it work for us.


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