Breeze-Courier | Taylorville, IL
weather sponsored by
Hickory Estates of Taylorville




Advanced Search
search sponsored by


LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE




KMRM

home : news : state news free June 25, 2016

   
1/5/2013 2:20:00 PM
Speaker eases stance on Illinois' worst-in-nation pension deficit

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced what could be a significant advance on pension reform, saying Friday the powerful House speaker was willing to forgo the dicey issue of some retirement costs for teachers in order to fix the worst-in-the-nation pension deficit.

A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan confirmed the agreement, markedly raising Quinn’s hopes of getting a pension deal before the current General Assembly finishes its work Wednesday.

The Democratic governor told reporters after a meeting with Republicans in Wheaton that he will meet with legislative leaders Saturday to try to reach a deal on closing a $96 billion funding gap.

The concession by Madigan would set aside, for now, Democrats’ plan to shift the employer portion of teachers’ retirement funds to local school districts, an issue that had stalled reform because Republicans say it would lead to increased local property taxes.

According to Quinn, Madigan suggested “that we would still keep working on that issue, we’d pay attention to that issue, but it was of such paramount importance that we act now, to begin the process of pension reform, that he was willing to take that particular issue off the table.”

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown confirmed the conversation and said the goal is to adopt a resolution early next week, before Wednesday’s adjournment of the current General Assembly. Quinn set the date as a deadline.

“What the speaker told the governor is we’ve got to pass a pension bill,” Brown said. “If setting aside the cost shift for now means passing other things, let’s pass other things.”

Neither Quinn nor Brown discussed what potential details leaders would address.

Decades of inattention to saving up for state workers’ retirement plans, including years where legislatures and governors skipped payments, means the state’s five pension accounts are short $96 billion.

Various plans floated in the last year have included bumped-up contributions and less-generous returns for current employees, which causes constitutionality questions for Democratic Senate President John Cullerton.

But the GOP has been hung up on what lawmakers call the “cost shift.”

Currently, the state pays for the employers’ portion of schoolteachers’ pensions, and Democrats have said that cost should be shifted to the employers — school boards. Republicans have balked, claiming that would force local boards to raise property taxes.

Emerging from a discussion of the issue Friday with Quinn, GOP legislators and DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin, Rep.

Darlene Senger said with the cost shift out of the picture, “this is moving in a really significant direction.”

“Now we’re talking about, ‘Let’s stick with the real issue and the real issue is getting our pensions sustainable for the long term for everyone,’ “ the Naperville Republican said.

The House convenes Sunday with plans to work until Wednesday morning.

The Senate adjourned abruptly Thursday night but Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, cautioned senators to be ready for a call to return Tuesday if action is needed on any legislation.


Anderson Jewelers




Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

If you are looking for the SPEAK OUT submission form, you can find it by clicking here: Speak Out Form


Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

NOTE: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address will not be displayed or shared.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   














Trinity Dodge Fixed

NewsWebPagesOpinionPeopleObituariesAg & BusinessSportsContact Us
Subscriptions | Username & Password Reminder | Change Password | Life

Breeze-Courier & Printing | 212 S Main St. Taylorville, IL 62568 | (217) 824-2233 |
website@breezecourier.com

© Copyright 2014 Breeze-Courier & Printing. All Rights Reserved.
Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Breeze-Courier & Printing.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved