Lawmakers pass budget, gaming expansion, but can’t agree on pension reforms

Illinois Lawmakers have adjourned their spring session but will likely return at to the Capitol sometime this summer after failing to reach agreement on solving the state’s $83-billion dollar pension problem.

House Republican leader Tom Crossaf decided not to call a bill to restructure the state’s five pension systems when it became clear that he would not have enough Democratic votes to pass the measure. 

Capitolfax editor Rich Miller leads off this week’s program with analysis of why the pension issue imploded in the last week of the spring session.  Next, we’ll examine pensions and other key issues this session in an exclusive “newsmaker” interview with Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan of Chicago.  Speaker Madigan tells Illinois Lawmakers’ Jak Tichenor he would not vote for the pension reform plan after it had been stripped of a measure to shift pension costs from the state to local districts, state universities, and community colleges.

Later, an in-depth discussion on pensions with House Personnel and Pensions Committee Chair Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D) Northbrook and Assistant Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady of Bloomington, both are members of the Governor’s pension working group.

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  1. Jyoti 11 July 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    I am absolutely livid about this chagne.  It was bad enough when the first stage was announced.  I was born on 7 June 1954 and I would have then retired on 6 September 2018.  This in itself angered me especially as my cousin, who was born on 25 January 1954 and therefore 4 and a half months older than me, would have been able to retire 9 months before me.  With the new chagnes, she can retire 11 months before me.  What have I done to deserve this?I have 5 children and have been married for 34 years.  I worked full-time until I had my children, who were born between the ages of 29 and 35.  I then worked in the evenings whilst my children were at school and, in addition, was a childminder for 2 days a week.  I took a few months only off work between each child.  For the last 4 years I have been working full-time.  I have a physical job as a Home Support Worker and have only ever been out of work once in my life, for about 3 months, when I claimed unemployment benefit.  And my reward for all this is to be told that I have to wait another 6 years before I can retire.  It’s bad enough to be told this when in one’s 20s but retirement is such a long way off that it seems like a lifetime away.  Not so when you are in your 50s and the end of the tunnel is in sight.  My husband is 4 years older than me so if I retire at 66 he will be 70.  We both enjoy walking in the mountains in the Lake District, Skye, Wales and so on and were looking forward to so much more free time to do this when we retired.  Some hopes!If this all goes ahead, there is no way that I am working until I’m 66.  I will simply live at retirement level as far as my money is concerned until I’m about 63, putting away the extra into a savings account, and then, from the age of 63, use that to continue living at retirement level until I actually reach retirement age, whatever that may be by the time we reach 2020.  No doubt the goalposts will have moved yet again!Of course, if I was David Cameron or any one of his moneyed associates, I could retire early but, as usual, we as the plebs have to pay for the greed and short-sightedness of others.I continue to be livid