Leaders in the Illinois Senate are split on how soon pension reform savings could be spent.
Leading Republican Senator Christine Radogno is offering a way to use $1.3 billion to pay for a variety of programs such as the Community Care Program, Adult Redeploy and grants for mental health treatment. Radogno says funding can happen in part by making public sector employers pick up the pension costs for any salary that is more than the governor’s salary of $180,000.
Click here for Radogno's comments
Radogno says those salaries are primarily found in the public university system and she hopes the move will change some behaviors. John Patterson, spokesman for Senate President John Cullerton, was cautious about spending pension savings without the courts weighing in.
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Radogno says the pension savings wouldn’t be coming from a reduction in benefits, something that caused the state Supreme Court to shoot down a previous pension reform proposal.