Illinois House, Senate pass pension reform bill, labor unions to sue for reversal

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Chicago, IL, United States (4E) – The Illinois House and Senate voted Tuesday to pass a pension reform bill that aims to erase a $100 billion pension shortfall over three decades.

The House voted 62-53 while the Senate voted 30-24 in favor of the bill raising the retirement age for many state workers and decreasing and even skipping some annual cost-of-living increases. The legislation also would keep intact current benefits for some of the longest-serving, lowest-paid workers who get the smallest retirement checks until their benefits grow to certain levels, according to Chicago Tribune.

Without the bill, the state is supposed to pay $374 billion in pension in the next 30 years. With the bill, the tab would drop to $214 billion.

Gov. Pat Quinn said he will sign the bill whose approval he said made the people of Illinois win. But labor unions are preparing a lawsuit to overturn the bill arguing that the benefit cuts are unconstitutional and unfair to employees and retirees.

The Illinois Federation of Teachers oppose the measure claiming it is illegal.

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