The free ride for Illinois state retirees could be ending. The Illinois House passed a bill Wednesday which would require more than 75,000 retirees to start paying health insurance premiums. House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) and House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) co-sponsored the bill, warning that it should be just the beginning of difficult votes lawmakers face before the scheduled May 31 adjournment.
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The state’s Department of Central Management Services would determine the amount of the premium. The program, Madigan says, already costs the state more than $800 million a year. Madigan said if lawmakers have trouble making this cut, “what are we going to be able to do? The prescription on the table is huge; this is one small part of it.” S.B. 1313 passed the House, 74-43.