SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has adjourned without a floor vote on a contentious plan to reform the public-employee pension system.
A committee on Monday approved a compromise to close a $96 billion deficit in pension accounts. It would freeze cost-of-living increases and require higher employee contributions. It sets aside the prickly issue of whether school districts should help pay for teachers' retirement benefits.
Rep. Elaine Nekritz is the bill's sponsor. The Northbrook Democrat declined to push a floor vote Monday. She says it will be called Tuesday "at the earliest."
Gov. Pat Quinn wants a resolution before the current General Assembly's session ends Wednesday.
The Senate would have to approve the measure too - and the Senate's not currently in session.
Story by 89 WLS reporter Bill Cameron
In Springfield, a pension reform bill that would raise state worker contributions and delay benefits has been recommended by an Illinois House committee.
Interesting in the pension reform debate was big labor comparing the proponents to the Tea Party of all things.
AFSCME's Henry Baer had this to say, "The governor, who's supporting this bill and the sponsors of the bill, they're taking the Tea Party approach. Let's just cut, cut, cut and let's not pay this $30 billion that they owe. We think that's wrong."
But the bill is on the move in Springfield and may pass because Speaker Madigan appears to be for it or something like it.
By SARA BURNETT and SOPHIA TAREEN
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois House committee has given the go-ahead to a long-awaited plan to address Illinois' pension crisis.
The proposal the panel approved 6-3 on Monday calls for higher employee contributions and freezes retirees' cost-of-living increases. It now heads to the House floor.
The amended bill emerged over the weekend when the House reconvened for the final days of the lame-duck session. It doesn't contain a provision to make suburban and downstate schools pick up pension costs, something that previously had been a sticking point.
Gov. Pat Quinn and House Minority Leader Tom Cross back the bill. Quinn had set a deadline for pension legislation for Wednesday, when new lawmakers take office.
Illinois has the worst-in-the-nation pension problem with roughly $96 billion in unfunded liability.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A House committee has begun considering a plan to solve Illinois' pension crisis by freezing cost-of-living increases for retirees and asking employees to contribute more.
Sen. Elaine Nekritz is the bill's sponsor. She says it may not be perfect but will help keep Illinois from falling back into a "deep pension abyss."
Gov. Pat Quinn and House Minority Leader Tom Cross both back the proposal.
It wouldn't award annual cost-of-living increases until the age of 67 and would increase employee contributions by 2 percent of salary, spread over two years. Once cost-of-living increases took effect at 67, they'd be applied only to the first $25,000 of a retiree's pension.
It would require the state to fully fund its portion of pensions under threat of legal action by the accounts' administrators.