WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Illinois Pension Committee Still at Work

Aug 23, 2013

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

The system has an unfunded liability of about $100 billion, which means payments to the system are taking up a larger chunk of overall state government spending.

Credit Rich Egger

Representative Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook), one of the leaders of the push to change how retirement systems are funded, said the legislative panel still has work to do but she’s hopeful a plan will soon emerge.

I believe to my core that every member of the committee is coming together in good faith and with a sincere desire to come to resolution

She said negotiations are taking longer than she would like, but she said they’re still useful and are still moving ahead.

Nekritz pointed out all four caucuses are at the table for these talks, which makes her feel more optimistic about the chances of coming to an agreement that can be approved by the full House and Senate.

Nekritz said there are differences of opinion among committee members regarding how much money needs to be cut and how much needs to be saved. She said 22-cents of every dollar spent in the current fiscal year is for the pension payment. She said most other states spend three-to-five cents per dollar on pensions.