Illinois
4:58 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Chicago Pension Measure Headed To Quinn's Desk

A bill to cut retirement benefits for some City of Chicago employees has made its way to the governor’s desk. But it’s not clear whether he will sign it.

In one day - the Illinois State House and Senate approved a measure affecting more than 56,000 city laborers and municipal workers.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Credit cityofchicago.org

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sounded optimistic when he spoke to reporters after the plan cleared the state legislature Tuesday.

" [We] asked a lot of our residents, our employees and our retirees to accept change -- and that's never easy. I believe that the certainty we are now providing will make the change worth it," Emanuel said.

The bill would have current employees pay more toward their pensions - while retirees would get less money in benefits.

Before yesterday’s votes - Governor Quinn was coy when asked by reporters about the plan.

"I have to see the final bill. That’s what I do with all bills. When the bill passes, you review it and I’m going to review it from top to bottom," Quinn said.

Quinn wouldn’t endorse Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to raise revenue to help pay for the pensions - by increasing the city’s property taxes.

Quinn suggested looking at tax loopholes - but didn’t say which loopholes he was referring to.

A property tax increase would need approval of Chicago’s City Council.

Meantime - labor unions representing some city workers are hoping Quinn vetoes the bill.