The means by which legislators have considered reducing the state's pension costs have been mostly controversial. But as IPR's Amanda Vinicky reports, there are some options to save Illinois money that could get wide agreement:
Making teachers work more years before they can draw a pension; reducing a retired university employees' benefits; forcing a state worker to pay more into her pension -- all are proposals legislators have voted on in the past as they look to decrease Illinois' unfunded pension liability, and which could resurface, even though public employees and their unions have raised concerns about their constitutionality and fairness. But Rep. Darlene Senger, a Republican from Naperville, says she and other members of a special legislative pension panel have other ideas to save some cash.
"Whether it be, you know, adding sick days to the calculation and some of the vacation days."
For example - sometimes, an employee's travel expenses count toward the pensionable salary. Democratic Senator Linda Holmes of Aurora says removing that should pass constitutional muster.
"Absolutely that would .. And we've also got people in the pension system that by right shouldn't be in the pension system. They could certainly be deducted and I don't think anybody would have a problem with that."
Illinois' constitution says retirement benefits cannot be reduced.
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