Two Democratic leaders left a meeting Wednesday confident that their plan on pension reforms will work. The plan is to shift the cost of pensions for teachers away from the state and onto downstate and suburban school districts. “If you wish to provide for reform of the pension systems, if you want to have responsibility in developing pensions then you have to provide that the people who spend the money actually pay the bill,” said House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago).
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“End the free lunch for the local school districts. The community colleges have already agreed to it.” The public school system in Chicago is already set up in a similar manner. Gov. Pat Quinn says all leaders agree there must be a fact funding mission before a plan on gradually shifting the costs can be agreed on. “We’re going to show, I think, as we get more information from each and every school district in the state…we’ll get all their facts about what their reserves are, what their current contracts are what exactly they have right now with respect to their cost,” Quinn said.
Republican’s want to pass a pension reform measure now where there is already broad support and keep negotiating on cost shifts. The Democratic Senate President agrees with that process but Quinn says he wants a complete overhaul, and Madigan says any pension reform should address the schools issue. They'll meet again later this month.