Illinois pension deal reached

UPDATED AT 2:44 P.M.

CHICAGO (AP) — After more than five months of work, Illinois’ legislative leaders announced Wednesday they’ve reached a deal to help solve the state’s $100 billion pension problem, considered the nation’s worst.

Leaders announced the agreement, but no details, following a Wednesday meeting.

House Speaker Michael Madigan’s staff is putting together an “explanatory memo” for lawmakers and will send details of the proposed legislation to them Friday, said Madigan spokesman Steve Brown.

The Illinois House and Senate will consider the measure in a special session, which has been set for Dec. 3.

Lawmakers have faced considerable pressure to act on pension reform following years of unheeded calls for them to pass a savings plan. Years of skipping or shorting payments have resulted in multiple bond rating downgrades, with key funds being diverted from schools and social services.

The committee tasked with finding a solution was formed in June when lawmakers reached an impasse on competing plans. Gov. Pat Quinn later halted lawmakers’ pay until the issue was resolved— a move later found to be unconstitutional by the courts.

The four leaders of the House and Senate have been working with a proposal developed over the summer and autumn by the 10-member committee of lawmakers. The committee plan would have saved the state $138 billion over 30 years.

Despite no knowledge of the details, the state’s major employee unions said Wednesday they were opposed to the deal, saying they were left out of negotiations and that they believe elements are unconstitutional.

“We have tried for three years now to work with legislative leaders and the governor to develop pension reform ... that is fair to workers and retirees,” American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union spokesman Anders Lindall said Wednesday.

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Sid Saltfork wrote on November 27, 2013 at 4:11 pm

No details will be released until days after a dead of the night theft occurs.  Only the people who paid their contributions will have their money stolen.   After the theft; ADM, and other corporations will receive their coerced tax deals.  A court case will result; but it will be disregarded by the justices whose pension system was exempt from the theft.  Months later, it will be discovered that the General Assembly members pension system was exempted also.  The temporary tax will be extended for funding in education, social services, corrections, and Medicaid.  The same legislators who engineered the theft will be re-elected.  The state's bondholders will become nervous that their investments will be defauded on next.  The state's bond rating will slip lower.  Illinois will be come another word for Corruption all across the nation.  Illinois will keep spending, and giving tax credits for pork barrel projects that continue campaign donations (bribes), and votes.  Nothing good will result for the citizens; but it will for the thieves.

Dr T - Retired Principal wrote on November 27, 2013 at 9:11 pm

I PAID MINE....WHERE THE HELL IS YOURS!  I was forced to pay for 35 years to a pension system. I know the 401K insurance companies & brokers are just waiting to get their investment hands on all that new money that the changes will result for the option of a 401K. Its all about PROFITS! Since 1974 Micheal Madigan has been a part of the House of Reps. along with a number of others that kept spending the money and not paying the required bills. Now its my fault that I worked 35 years & paid in to the system that was raided for the pet projects of the legislature.