-Illinois
4:55 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Pension Proposals Move Through House

A pair of pension measures met success in the Illinois House. It's the first time the House passed legislation that could have a significant impact on state employees' retirement benefits, as well as that of teachers and university workers.

Rep. Elaine Nekritz
Credit ilga.gov

One measure caps the amount of salary a pension can be based on. The other raises the retirement age.

House Democrats' point woman on pensions, Representative Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook, says they're important milestones ... but hinted that they won't become law in their current form.

"I don't know whether they're test votes or not.  They're real votes.  But they're not, they're not ... I still think we have to put the whole package together in a way that hands the Supreme Court one piece of legislation to consider, and hand the Senate one piece of legislation to consider." -Rep. Elaine Nekritz

A House committee did give bi-partisan approval to a comprehensive pension package. It includes the salary cap and age increase, but it also requires workers to put more of their paychecks toward retirement  and it reduces their benefits.

On top of all that, the Senate is working on a similar plan -- and others.

Legislative solutions to Illinois' pension gap are whirling around, but there's no consensus.  And unions - who say benefit reductions are unfair and illegal - continue to fight pension changes on all fronts.

Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky contributed to this report.

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