There's still some question about what may be in the future for Illinois in terms of pension reform, now that cities all over the state have mounting unfunded pension obligations. Bukola Bello is a lobbyist with the Illinois Public Pension Fund Association, and says while leaders have been meeting on just how to solve the budget impasse, the problems continue. "The inability of the Supreme Court to find the pension reforms Constitutional was a serious win for labor unions across the state," says Bello, speaking recently to a meeting on pensions hosted by the City of Springfield. "I understand it has imposed a bit of a challenge for municipalities, but that fight is far from over."
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Bello says it will take awhile to steady the pension funds, and cities and townships need to make sure their pension funds are doing what they need to do in order to survive, even with a lack of revenue coming into cities and the state. She says there will be a lot Governor Bruce Rauner and lawmakers wil have to say on the issue of reform in the next couple years. "You're going to see more talk from this particular administration and other legislators when it comes to local government restructuring, particuparly in the area of Chapter 9 filings, which is bankruptcy," says Bello. "That is a huge untouched area by the State of Illinois, particularly certain municipalities who don't know what the impact or consequences will be." Bello says legislation to that end is expected, and also potentially impacting pensions, what she says is a potential overhaul of the police disciplinary system, and how that could impact collective bargaining rights.