In what some leaders are calling the biggest and toughest vote their members would take, the Illinois House agreed Thursday to restrict cost-of-living adjustments to the first $25,000 of pension income per year. The bill is estimated to save about $100 billion over the years but is not guaranteed to survive any court challenge.
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“We’ve passed a bill which put a cap of the pensionable income of $113,000,” said House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago). “That bill is in the Senate. We’ve already passed a bill that raised the retirement age incrementally. That bill is in the Senate. This bill makes a major change in the COLA provision of the four pension systems.” That would not count the judicial retirement system. Excluding the judges is seen as the only hope of keeping the whole thing out of the court system, where it’s likely headed anyway.
Madigan’s speech on the floor would position the Senate as having to take up some sort of comprehensive pension action after it returns from a two-week spring break. H.B. 1165 passed the House, 66-50.