While Gov. Pat Quinn hopes lawmakers can come to an agreement on reforming the state’s public pension systems, Republicans aren’t sure it will happen. Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) says legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle agree that all five pension systems should be reformed, but says an impasse remains on funding teacher retirement.
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Radogno is against shifting the cost of Downstate and suburban teacher pensions from the state to school districts because she says it isn’t a real cost saving. “It doesn’t save money. It just changes who pays,” Radogno said of the governor’s plan. The governor says Radogno is missing the point. “I think [the cost shift] is good principle,” Quinn said. “I think it makes sure everybody on the front line who’s negotiating contracts doesn’t think they can negotiate a big ol’ contract to pass the burden on to taxpayers somewhere else.”
Radogno says the impending Special Session should spur pension reform talks. “Having the 17th looming I think will spur further discussion and that’s a good thing because we haven’t had a lot of discussions in the last five weeks,” Radogno said.