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General Assembly could-maybe-might vote on pensions today

Fri, 17 Aug 2012 15:29:43 CDT

It appears state lawmakers could vote on limited pension legislation during Friday's special session. A measure introduced this afternoon would reduce retirement benefits only for state elected officials.   Despite Governor Pat Quinn's call for more comprehensive changes, no breakthrough was reached on pensions for state employees, downstate teachers, university workers and judges. Republican Senator Tim Bivins of Dixon says he thinks the effort to scale back what legislators get is fair.

"My reaction to that is, you know, that is appropriate that we do lead by example and all areas in not just pensions."

Illinois' pension systems are considered the worst funded in the nation. Governor Quinn says retirement costs are eating up more of the state's budget and crowding out other needs. But public employee unions are furious at attempts to change their benefits. They blame state leaders for failing to contribute enough to the pension systems over the past few decades. The legislation before lawmakers today would do little to address the state's budget problems. The other pension systems are much larger and more costly.

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