State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie, pictured) went there. He’s proposing a pension solution that makes permanent the 2011 income tax increase that was supposed to expire. The additional 2 percentage points would help shore up the state’s five pension systems, which carry an unfunded liability approaching $100 billion.
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Lang knows the idea will be unpopular, but he says it’s necessary. “I think most legislators in this building … will tell you we need the dollars. And the taxpayers of the state of Illinois, even those who would be the angriest about this, will tell you we need the cash.”
Lang said other pension proposals out there are unlikely to pass a constitutional test. He said plans which present choices for pensioners reflect a reduction of benefits, which is unconstitutional.
Other features of the Lang plan:
Retirement age 67
50-year ramp for 80 percent funding
Increase employee contribution by 3 percent of annual income
Cost shift to local schools, phased in at ½-percent of local payroll annually