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Illinois Passes Historic Pension Reform

Both the Illinois House and Senate narrowly passed a measure that addresses Illinois' out of control pension problems, spreading out the pain.

Originally published at 5:50 p.m. Dec. 3.

After years of dithering, Illinois senators and representatives took a momentous step forward Tuesday in solving the $100 billion pension problem that has bedeviled the state, its finances, and its credit rating.

The state Senate passed the measure 30-24, and the House passed it 62-53, the Chicago Tribune reports — all in one afternoon.

The deal will save $160 billion over 30 years, and reduce the state's payments for pensions by about $1.5 billion a year, reports the Chicago Sun-Times

It does so by curtailing cost-of-living increases for pensioners, who include suburban teachers and retired state workers. It also raises retirement ages for younger workers. 

For that reason, several sources said, labor unions may mount a legal challenge to it. 

Illinois' pension crisis is considered the worst in the nation, reports chicago.cbslocal.com, because for years lawmakers diverted money elsewhere and did not make full payments into the funds.
Inconvenientruth December 03, 2013 at 07:23 PM
Illinois' pension crisis is considered the worst in the nation, reports chicago.cbslocal.com, because for years lawmakers diverted money elsewhere and did not make full payments into the funds. And now the scumbag POS in Springfield have diminished the pensions of those who did pay into the system. Read the Illinois Constitution and you will find a clause that states that pensions "shall not be diminished"! Your Senator Morrison admittedly voted FOR a bill that is both unfair and unconstitutional while not diminishing her own pension. See ya in court!
marco sangria December 03, 2013 at 08:09 PM
inconvenientruth sounds like you are part of the system. no sacrifices for you. Good job Senator Morrison.
Inconvenientruth December 03, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Marco, no sacrifices for Morrison or for the takers that sit home and wait for their welfare checks. Screw the makers to pay the takers! SOS different day!
marco sangria December 03, 2013 at 08:18 PM
would i be correct to assume that you are receiving a pension from the state and that's why you are imploring the constitution? Not inconvenient at all?
Inconvenientruth December 03, 2013 at 08:43 PM
I am imploring the Constitution because it is the Constitution! Are you suggesting that it is acceptable to ignore the Constitution? The courts will now help the POS in Springfield to understand the significance of the Constitution.
marco sangria December 03, 2013 at 08:53 PM
just answer the question are you or are you not receiving a pension from the state of illinois or some entity of the state?
LFPhoto December 03, 2013 at 09:23 PM
I think inconvenientruth loves the constitution to the extent it protects his pension. Too bad there was no protection for the taxpayers as the panderers like Gov. Thompson and his gang cut all these lucrative retirement deals without any means of funding them, and all the subsequent legislators buried their heads in the sand. That's not too say that the teachers and their unions have not been complicit in extracting generous benefits at the expense of the taxpayers, an knew that they weren't being funded. This is the same as what's going on in Detroit writ large. When I was involved in balancing the school budgets a decade ago this problem was already well known. There are no clean hands here.
marco sangria December 03, 2013 at 09:27 PM
LFP i couldn't agree more with you. And for the record i work for a publicly traded company and participate in the 401 k plan.
Me December 04, 2013 at 12:09 AM
Convert them all to a defined contribution plan. If it is good enough for the private sector taxpayers, then why isn't it good enough for the public employees who feed at the trough filled with taxpayer money?
marco sangria December 04, 2013 at 08:23 AM
me you are spot on!!!
Gary December 04, 2013 at 11:06 AM
Inconvenient, did your salary increase dramatically the last four years of work, resulting in a huge increase in your base pension payments beyond what your career base pay scale would have determined? Can you claim to have "earned" that portion of your pension?
marco sangria December 04, 2013 at 11:27 AM
Gary, a big AMEN to that comment.
Inconvenientruth December 04, 2013 at 11:40 AM
Gary, if you consider a 2.5% increase drastic! Now let's talk about what increases in salary you, Marco and LFPhoto received. It amazes me that you guys are so misinformed.
Gary December 04, 2013 at 11:52 AM
2.5 percent? Pretty unlikely. The end-of-career salary spiking scam has been going on for decades and is written right into the union contracts for our local teachers. Salaries get boosted by at least 25 percent over the last four years of employment simply to inflate the pension base, which costs the rest of huge amounts of money. This scam distorts the whe program and no one who benefitted from this, which is just about everyone, can claim to have put in enough money to justify their pension payouts. They did not earn their pension. I say pension reform should START by rolling back all pensions to where they would have been without salary spiking. If it didn't happen then you should be on board with this plan. How about it, Inconvenient?
Me December 04, 2013 at 06:57 PM
@Gary - The spiking scam also contradicts the claim that the public sector employees (I hesitate to call them workers), actually made their fair contributions. With a defined contribution plan, you get out what you put in. there is no scamming possible. Career-end spiking has little impact.
David Brown December 13, 2013 at 02:26 PM
How about allowing pensions to be taxed as Illinois income. They are currently excluded from state income tax. Talk about b.s.........

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