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Illinois pension reform

Two more groups of retired Illinois state employees have filed lawsuits challenging a new plan to eliminate the state's $100 billion public pension shortfall.

It took just a little more than a week for a pension overhaul in Illinois to go from an agreement between legislative leaders to law.

Brian Mackey

The Illinois General Assembly has approved sweeping changes to pensions for state employees and Governor Pat Quinn said he will sign the legislation.

Rich Egger

The four leaders of Illinois' General Assembly have crafted a new plan for changing the state's retirement systems.

Pension foes have shifted public attention to accounting so retiree benefits might be shifted to protect or expand corporate subsidies, like the $24 million that Archer Daniels Midland demands from the state of Illinois, according to a new report. It says the anti-pension campaign blames state or local budget problems exclusively on public pensions – pensions that were underfunded by legislatures for years so the money could be spent elsewhere, such as on corporate subsidies or politically popular tax cuts.

State Representative Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) is careful these days when she talks about the status of pension deliberations.

Illinois Pension Committee Still at Work

Aug 23, 2013
Rich Egger

A bi-partisan panel of ten Illinois lawmakers has been working this summer to find a solution to the state’s pension problem.

Members of a bipartisan legislative committee in Illinois remain optimistic they'll eventually agree on how to address the state’s $100 billion pension problem.

Rich Egger

The authors of a new study say a proposal to fix Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension shortfall would undermine the retirement security of government employees

Lawsuit Filed Over Paycheck Veto

Jul 30, 2013

The leaders of the Illinois House and Senate have filed a lawsuit over Governor Pat Quinn’s veto of legislative salaries.

Western UPI Chapter Sends Letter Opposing Cost Shift

Jul 19, 2013
Rich Egger

A public employee union in Illinois is criticizing several university presidents for backing a pension reform plan that includes cuts to benefits and a proposal to shift costs to university employees.

Illinois lawmakers have repeatedly missed Governor Pat Quinn's deadlines for fixing the state’s pension systems, so he is using his veto power to prevent legislators from getting paid.

Illinois Pension Committee Will Miss Deadline

Jul 3, 2013
Amanda Vinicky/Illinois Public Radio

The leader of a special legislative panel formed to come up with a solution to Illinois’ pension crisis said there's no way to meet the governor’s July 9 deadline.

Pension Committee Gets to Work

Jun 27, 2013
Rich Egger

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn had harsh words for the pension conference committee that met in Chicago Thursday.

Tracy Ready to Work on Pensions

Jun 25, 2013
http://jiltracy.com/at-capitol.php

State Representative Jil Tracy (R- Quincy) is calling the pension reform conference committee formed by the Illinois General Assembly's special session "a last ditch effort."

Local Lawmaker on IL Pension Committee

Jun 19, 2013
Rich Egger

State Representative Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) will serve on a committee charged with addressing the state's looming pension liability, which is an estimated $97 billion.

Special Session for Illinois Legislature

Jun 6, 2013

Illinois lawmakers will be back in Springfield on June 19 after Governor Pat Quinn announced a special session of the state legislature Thursday.

The 2013 session of the Illinois General Assembly will more likely be remembered for what was not accomplished than for what was done.

IL Colleges to Pay for Employees' Pensions

May 17, 2013

Although they're facing budget cuts, universities and community colleges have said they're willing to begin taking on employees' pension costs.

Pension Reform Moves Ahead in Illinois

May 9, 2013

The Illinois Senate has approved an overhaul of the state's pension systems.  

Sen. Sullivan on Pension Reform Bills

May 8, 2013
Rich Egger

A state lawmaker from Western Illinois says the Senate version of pension reform can make it through both chambers of the general assembly.

Pension Overhaul Passes Illinois House

May 2, 2013

The Illinois House of Representatives has approved a massive overhaul of state pensions.

It's the first time the House has passed such a plan after more than a year of negotiating and many failed attempts.

Pension Plan Advancing in Illinois

May 1, 2013

The Illinois House is poised to vote Thursday, May 2, on an overhaul of the state's pension systems.  It would reduce state workers', teachers', and university employees' future retirement benefits.

The plan easily advanced out of a House committee Wednesday, and there is a feeling in the capitol that after countless attempts to reduce the state's pension debt, this might be the plan that does the trick.

Insiders say it's significant that the plan is sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), who rarely takes action without having support locked up. 

Most Illinois House members recently backed a measure to limit the salary on which public employees’ retirement benefits could be based. One of a few proposals to address the state’s $96 billion pension shortfall, it was seen as a test vote as lawmakers grapple with some way to make good on years of the legislature failing to make its payments.

Pension Plans Advance in Illinois Legislature

Mar 14, 2013

The Illinois Senate has moved forward with a pair of measures (SB 1 and SB 35)  that would strip government workers of some of their pension benefits. The changes would impact state and university employees, as well as downstate and suburban public school teachers.

Illinois Pension Reform Plans Go Nowhere Fast

Feb 28, 2013

It was billed as a "day of pensions" in the Illinois House. But it turned into about a half-hour's worth as Illinois lawmakers continue having a hard time confronting the state's $100 billion problem.

There were four proposals reviewed on February 28, each more harsh than what's been discussed in other pension overhauls.

New Proposal for Illinois Pension System

Feb 21, 2013

The Illinois income tax increase would be made permanent in the latest proposal to fix the state's underfunded pension systems.

The income tax plan approved by lawmakers temporarily increased the rate from 3% to 5%.  It’s scheduled to begin decreasing in 2014.

But Representative Lou Lang (D-Skokie) said the state can't afford that. Lang said Illinois taxpayers didn't create the pension problem, but it's a problem they're stuck with.

“"We have a responsibility to fix it. And we have a responsibility to have shared sacrifice,” Land said.

Still No Closer to Pension Solution in Illinois

Feb 11, 2013
Rich Egger

Union leaders met with Governor Pat Quinn and members of the legislature on February 11 to talk about the state's underfunded pension system. They billed it as a chance to work together on a divisive issue but the two sides remain far apart.

The unions represent a range of government workers, from prison guards to teachers. After the meeting, they issued a statement saying it shows they can "work together constructively with all parties."

Illinois House Adjourns Without Vote on Pension Plan

Jan 7, 2013

Over the protests of state employee unions, an Illinois House committee gave bipartisan support to a plan intended to repair Illinois' underfunded pensions.  But the full House adjourned Monday without taking a vote.

The legislation would leave workers paying more for a smaller retirement benefit.  House Republican leader Tom Cross said the change is necessary given the condition of Illinois' pension systems.

Illinois’ pension-reform issue seemed to make some progress this month, but labor and legislators still question the latest, bipartisan proposal addressing the state’s $95 billion pension problem, and as of press time the state’s We Are One coalition still plans a rally at the Illinois Statehouse on Thursday and Friday, Jan. 3-4.

Eighteen lawmakers appeared with HB 6258 Democratic co-sponsors Elaine Nekritz of Des Plaines and Daniel Biss of Skokie at the measure’s introduction Dec. 5.

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