The Michigan Constitution in article IX sec. 24 does indeed guarantee the funding of pensions. I disagree with the Judges ruling that says the pensions of Detroit citizens who have earned them are now able to be reduced due to the bankruptcy of Detroit filed in Federal court.
Issues of pragmatism and the financial negligence/ mismanagement of Detroit officials aside, Mr. Burgan is absolutely correct that this ruling has far reaching implications. I for one would rather honor the language of our constitution even if it means sacrifice for our state citizens.
Looking forward there will have to be changes. Defined benefit as opposed to defined contribution plans have already been addressed.
Detroit assets can be liquidated even if the cuts seem draconian. If our Governor, who claims to be somewhat the nerd, put his mind to honoring the State Constitution and resolving the financial mess that is Detroit, I think he would find the citizens of Michigan willing to work with him to get ourselves out of the mess. What kind of message would that send to Washington? What kind of message would that send to prospective businesses?
What kind of lessons can we as a state learn looking forward? I have this crazy notion that we as a state show our indebted Federal Government what can be accomplished by people who are self reliant, honor our obligations, and don't depend on the borrowed money the Feds so easily spend.