Illinois Passes Historic Pension Reform

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

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 this afternoon, 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. 

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Mark Fisch December 03, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Did the legislature make similar adjustments to their pensions.
The Broons December 03, 2013 at 07:14 PM
You need to make a correction: the pension deficit is $100 Billion with a B, not million.
Pam DeFiglio (Editor) December 03, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Thanks, The Broons. Correction is made. It is hard to wrap one's head around that number.
George Costanza December 03, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Pension reform is a Cook County v. Downstate Illinois Issue. All the conservative reps downstate oppose it because the only people who have a job downstate are either (1) farmers who are few and far between, and (2) public employees. Notice all the corrections officers and most of the highway workers in the state of Illinois live south of Joliet. I once represented a retired corrections officer in his second divorce. He retired at 48, fully vested, earning a pension of $8,000.00 a month. His first wife took half his pension, and his second wife took a third of that. He wasn't too upset though because after two divorces he still took home $2,600/mo and would get a second job, oh and he was not even 52 years old.


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