-Illinois
5:47 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Municipal League Continues Push For Pension Overhaul

Loves Park Mayor Darryl Lindberg has a new title with the Illinois Municipal League. As President, he says the organization is looking to lawmakers to make changes to the state's pension systems. Lindberg says the group has not put its support behind any one plan, but still wants lawmakers to act. That includes the work being done by a bipartisan pension panel:

Credit IML

"At the point when we see the final product, the League will certainly look at that and decide whether to support it," Lindberg says. "The bottom line is if it is good for the communities, and a consensus, we really want that to be done because we recognize how important it is."

IML Legislative Director Joe McCoy agrees.

"We support the enactment of pension reform at the state level because we know that the General Assembly is unlikely to address the municipal police and fire pension crisis until they have resolved the crisis with the state-funded pension systems." 

Income Tax Distribution

The Municipal League represents more than 1,000 municipalities in Illinois.

Those communities also rely on the state's distribution of  income tax funds, and Lindberg says the delivery of that money has varied in recent years. 

"Right  now I have to say the state is only two months behind on our income tax payment back to us [Loves Park].  There have been times when it is 5-6 months behind. Of course, that is critical to the operation of all our communities because if we don't see that money coming in we have to make other plans."

The Municipal League wants lawmakers to consider a proposal that changes how income tax fund are distributed to Illinois communities. It would deposit local governments’ share of the revenue into a dedicated fund instead of the state's general fund. Lindberg says that would prevent the money from being used to pay for other state expenses. The measure received widespread support in the House in the spring, but was not called for a vote in the Senate.