A proposed overhaul cleared a House committee Monday. But the full House adjourned for the day without taking action. Observers say legislative leaders are trying to round up of enough votes for the bill to pass.
Illinois lawmakers could move forward with a plan to address the state's pension woes. A House committee is expected to consider a proposal when it meets on Monday. The expected vote comes after a Sunday meeting of the Illinois House that accomplished little. But legislators still say they can still tackle the state's pension problem before the General Assembly adjourns for good on Wednesday.
In November, Illinois voters will be asked if it should be more difficult to increase pension benefits for public employees. If approved, the proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution would raise the number of votes needed to make increases to public employee pensions from a simple majority to a three-fifths vote. It applies to the General Assembly, city councils, school boards, and other public governing bodies.
Representative Bob Pritchard says the proposed amendment is the result of the current underfunding of public pensions:
A new report analyzing Illinois' finances has some good news and some bad news. The Chicago-based Civic Federation's report breaks down the latest Illinois budget - which was approved earlier this year.
Another top Democrat in Springfield says any action on a pension overhaul will have to wait until early next year. Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says a vote on a plan to overhaul the state's troubled pension systems will probably come in January.
Governor Pat Quinn is expected to start a campaign to boost support for changes to Illinois' pension systems. During last week's special session, lawmakers failed to approve a plan that would address the state’s massively underfunded retirement systems.
Illinois officials will gather financial information from the state’s more than 800 school districts over the next two weeks to understand how shifting pension costs away from the state would affect those districts.
“The more facts we could gather regarding what the impact would be on school districts,” Gov. Pat Quinn said, “it would be very important facts we should know.”
The governor initially supported shifting the cost of future pensions for downstate teachers and university workers to school districts and universities but backed away as the legislative session waned.