Gov. Bruce Rauner says he plans several simultaneous pension strategies, now that he knows it’s difficult to predict what the Illinois Supreme Court will do.
The Supreme Court on Friday tossed out a 2013 pension fix, declaring it an unconstitutional diminution of benefits and criticizing the Illinois General Assembly for not considering other solutions.
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“We went through in detail some of his ideas and recommendations, and we talked a little about some of our ideas,” the governor said of a Wednesday meeting with Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago). “I think we all have some concerns now with the Supreme Court's ruling about what’s constitutional. We’ve got some concerns about whether his ideas will work constitutionally, and we’ve got some concerns whether our ideas will work, and we are feverishly endeavoring to come up with a solution that we have a high confidence level will pass constitutional muster.”
As for the governor’s ambitious legislative agenda, “They pass 600 bills a year,” Rauner said of the legislature, “and we’re going to ask for passing eight or nine. It’s very doable, and everything can still get done by May 31. We’ve taken a number of things off the table. This is all part of a negotiation and a compromise.”
Rauner was asked about a report this week in Capitol Fax that he could be open to an income tax increase from the current 3.75 percent to 4.5 or 4.75 percent. “We need to raise enough revenue that we can fund the key essentials in government, but we also need a tax code to be competitive and allow us to grow. Right now, we’re not growing, and we need a tax code that is pro-growth.”