The governor characterizes as “progress” a new pension reform proposed by rank-and-file lawmakers.  Twenty lawmakers, mostly Democrats, unveiled their plan Wednesday. It involves cost-of-living adjustments applying to only the first $25,000 of retirement income, a later retirement age, workers paying more, and a shift of pension costs awarded by school districts and colleges onto their budgets.
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Gov. Pat Quinn said Thursday this could be a start. “They’ve asked us to do the math on that, to do the calculations, the actuarial calculations. That takes a little while, but I think that was really a positive development. It’s after the election. People understand that it’s time to really get down to brass tacks, serious consideration of pension reform,” he said.
The proposal, with State Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) leading the group that’s promoting it, also requires the state each year to make its actuarially required employer contribution to pension funds.  Unions are not on board with the Nekritz proposal, and the Illinois Senate has expressed concern over its constitutionality.
The governor says the state’s $95 billion unfunded pension liability is growing by $17 million a day, so there is urgency to reach a resolution, which he wants to accomplish by Jan. 9.
(Copyright WBGZ / )