The Illinois legislature is again talking about changing public pensions. And unions are again unhappy about it. The latest bill being discussed would raise property taxes on Chicagoans to help two of the city's pension funds: the municipal pension fund and the laborers' pension fund. The sponsor of the bill, House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), would not say whether he could predict whether the bill would hold up constitutionally.
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“I'm not offering my legal opinion,” Madigan said. “I'm the sponsor of a bill. I didn't offer any legal opinions on Senate Bill One,” last year's massive pension fix which is tied up in court. AFSCME Council 31 political director John Cameron was more forthcoming, saying the Chicago bill, combining more contributions and less benefit, would be even more unconstitutional than Senate Bill One.
Madigan indicated the bill would likely be called on the House floor Wednesday afternoon. It wasn't. The bill had only Democratic support in the committee, and the Senate minority leader, Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), said she would urge her caucus to oppose the bill, too.
SB 1922 has passed the House Personnel and Pensions Committee.