After years of dithering, Illinois senators and representatives took a momentous step forward Tuesday in solving the $100 million pension problem that has bedeviled the state, its finances, and its credit rating.
The state Senate passed the measure 30-24, and the House passed it 62-53, the Chicago Tribune reports — all in one afternoon.
The deal will save $160 billion over 30 years, and reduce the state's payments for pensions by about $1.5 billion a year, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
It does so by curtailing cost-of-living increases for pensioners, who include suburban teachers and retired state workers. It also raises retirement ages for younger workers.
For that reason, several sources said, labor unions may mount a legal challenge to it.
Illinois' pension crisis is considered the worst in the nation,reports chicago.cbslocal.com, because for years lawmakers diverted money elsewhere and did not make full payments into the funds.
How local representatives voted:
- Rep. Tim Schmitz (R-Batavia): Yes
- Rep. Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville): Yes
- Rep. Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago): No
- Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove): Yes
- Sen. Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles): Yes
Click here for the Senate roll call.