The amount the state of Illinois is paying toward state pensions is now three times what it was five years ago. Governor Pat Quinn says that's why the state needs a pension reform package. In the 2013 budget Governor Quinn just signed over the weekend, about $5.3 Billion is to pay retirement costs for teachers and other state workers. Quinn says that's triple the amount paid in 2008 when it was $1.7 Billion dollars:
"We cannot continue on a path of having more and more of our budget devoted to pensions. The crying need to have pension reform is right now."
Lawmakers left Springfield at the end of May without approving a pension reform package. Leaders have been meeting in Chicago ever since but still no deal. The hang up appears to be a plan to shift pension costs from the state to suburban and downstate school districts. There's little confidence, however, anything will get worked out before the fall elections.
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