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Local Reps Help Illinois Pass Historic Pension Reform

Both the Illinois House and Senate narrowly pass a measure that addresses Illinois' out of control pension problems, spreading out the pain.

Credit: File photo
Credit: File photo
By Pam DeFiglio

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
See how other Representatives voted here.
Click here for the Senate roll call.

Mike December 03, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Doesn't go nearly far enough, but might prevent us from being Detroit v. 2.0.
Ursula Small December 04, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Irresponsible lawmakers made Il the next hell hole in Am. Not hard working public servants who are being cheated out of pensions they earned. You take the side if lawmakers in this article Patch. Shame on you!
Mike December 04, 2013 at 01:52 PM
Public union greed + democrat politicians willing to promise them anything in return for their vote got us into this mess. Now hardworking private sector workers have to bail them out.
Ursula Small December 04, 2013 at 06:26 PM
If you had a contract that promised you a pension that you were paying into your whole working life and then Republican politicians decided to renege on that contract because they had had their hand in the pot for years, and weren't paying into the fund as they should have been, you would be outraged. Lucky for your you are not a teacher or policeman or fireman. There are no private sector workers bailing anybody out. You are all too selfish to think of such a thing. But the teachers, and firemen and police will always be there when you need them.
Todd R. VonOhlen December 04, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Todd R VonOhlen Mike, the state began it's pension program in the '40s. The idea at the time was to SAVE MONEY! The pensions would cost less than paying FICA taxes. This pension program has NEVER been properly funded. Democrats and Republicans stole money from the pension plans to pay for other programs. When my family had a small business, we had a pension plan. If we had failed to fund it the way that the state has failed to fund it's plans, we could have been prosecuted and gone to jail! Scream all you want about "greedy" unions, these people gave up Social Security in exchange for pensions, that they faithfully contributed to their entire working lives! I say the politicians that stole these pension funds to buy support with other programs, are the ones who are greedy!
Mike December 04, 2013 at 07:22 PM
Ursula, I would LOVE to be a teacher - who else gets a guaranteed 75% of their peak income for life, with COL adjustments! I can promise you the Drivers Ed teacher retiring at 85K for life didn't contribute near that. Now the money's not there? No kidding! Tax the homeowners. Unions leave nothing but scorched earth behind, like Detroit. GREED. Pure and simple.


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