Yet the Illinois court blows right through this judicial standard. Based on its prior rulings, the court opines that “neither the legislature nor any executive or judicial officer may disregard the provisions of the constitution even in case of a great emergency” or “for economic reasons.”
If pensions can be modified, the court opines, then “no rights or property would be safe from the State. Today it is nullification of the right to retirement benefits. Tomorrow it could be renunciation of the duty to repay State obligations. Eventually, investment capital could be seized.” This irony of this slippery-slope fallacy is that by shielding pensions the Illinois judges are making it more likely that the state will renege on debt or other obligations. The justices cavil that politicians “made no effort to distribute the burdens evenly among Illinoisans” and could “have sought additional tax revenue.” Yet Illinois raised taxes by a record amount in 2011. The judges even suggest that it is unconstitutional to require government workers, rather than taxpayers, to shoulder the pension burden.
Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has floated an alternative: a state constitutional amendment allowing pension modifications, which would require a public referendum and two-thirds vote of the legislature. Barring that, Illinois taxpayers may want to start contemplating Indiana or Florida residency.....snip~
Illinois Pension Blowup - WSJ