WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Sen. Sullivan on Pension Reform Bills

May 8, 2013

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

Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) says personally, he favors Senate President John Cullerton's plan over the House plan, which was introduced by Speaker Michael Madigan.

State Senator John Sullivan
Credit Rich Egger

The Senate plan cuts less money, gives employees more choices, and has the support of the unions.

Sullivan calls Madigan’s plan “blatantly unconstitutional” and says the ultimate success of the Senate package will hinge on its vote before the full chamber.

"If that bill passes out of here with a very large, significant majority support, I think its going to send a pretty loud message to the house," said Sullivan, "so it's going to give that plan more credibility in the house chamber and so that could very well change this whole discussion.

Sullivan hopes the full senate will vote on the propsoal on Thursday, May 9.

He said the plan gets the pension system to 90% funded within 30 years and has strict provisions to keep the state from skipping any further payments.