Union members say they’ll up their contributions to public pension funds, if the state will quit opting out of its contribution and raise $2 billion in new revenue. A union coalition announced Wednesday it wants a plan of pension changes that is constitutional, unlike, it says, a couple of plans already being floated. The employees covered under the public pension funds would increase their contributions by 2 percentage points.
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The “loopholes” and new sources of revenue include repealing the Chicago Mercantile Exchange tax incentives, ending the tax breaks for for-profit hospitals, and implementing new taxes on such things as music downloads and satellite television service. Gov. Pat Quinn was asked about the proposal during an unrelated event and sounded as if he had not heard the particulars yet; he did say, though, “We always want to look at everything. I think it’s useful to look at everybody’s ideas. If there are some good concepts there, we can incorporate them.”