Illinois pension reform

Using Income Tax Revenue
2:32 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

New Proposal for Illinois Pension System

The Illinois Capitol building

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.

Read more
Most Leaders Skip Meeting with Unions
6:25 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Still No Closer to Pension Solution in Illinois

Credit 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."

Read more
Clock Ticking on 2012 General Assembly
6:11 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Illinois House Adjourns Without Vote on Pension Plan

The Illinois Capitol Building

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.

Read more
Bill Knight – December 27
1:00 am
Thu December 27, 2012

A Review of an Illinois Pension Reform Bill

Bill Knight

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.

Read more
Closing a Huge Gap
5:47 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

State Workers Propose Illinois Pension Plan

Credit Rich Egger

State employee unions say the leading proposals to fix Illinois' public employee pension systems are all fatally flawed, so they proposed their own plan.

Workers point out any attempt to plug the $96 billion funding shortfall must respect the state Constitution, which says benefits "shall not be diminished."

The proposals backed by Governor Pat Quinn and other political leaders attempt to get around that in order to cut retirement benefits. But AFSCME Legislative Director Joanna Webb-Gauvin said those ideas will ultimately fail in the courts.

Read more