Republican leaders in the Illinois legislature found plenty to like in the pension restructuring proposal the governor rolled out Friday. But they remind everyone an announcement at a news conference is not the same thing as a bill.
House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) say they are both concerned about the governor's idea to require local units of government to pay retirement costs for their employees, a transfer of responsibility that Cross estimates at $1 billion. This is an idea separate from the plan the governor introduced, and Radogno insisted that the ideas be kept separate and each debated on its merits.
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A labor coalition e-mailed a statement:
"By appearing to endorse these unfair and unconstitutional cuts, the governor has made the process of finding common ground much more difficult. Forcing public servants to choose between two sharply diminished pension plans is no choice at all. It is a clearly illegal attempt to solve the problem caused by past governors and the legislature solely on the backs of teachers, caregivers and other public workers.”