A proposal that makes major pension changes has passed out a House committee by a vote of 6 – 3 and now heads to the full House. State employees will have to choose between a lower cost of living increase or give up their state-funded retiree healthcare. It also gradually shifts the cost of pensions to school districts, colleges and universities.
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Speaker Michael Madigan says it has something everyone dislikes. “Even though the groups could not reach an agreement on the all the items in the bill, the final package includes items that were proposed by both opponents and proponents of the bill.” The plan does not change the retirement age or require larger employee contributions. Supporters say the state should pay off the system’s unfunded liabilities in 30 years. Opponents say they are paying for the state’s bad decisions in the past. The proposal does not require the state make its payments every year.