Lawmakers will be in Springfield this week, and the governor is pushing them to resolve pension restructuring.
It has been three years since Gov. Pat Quinn urged lawmakers to have a “rendezvous with reality,” and five months since he approved a conference committee to work on the issue, with no results as yet, and the veto session now upon us. Quinn says there’s no deadline, but there is a cost to lawmakers taking their time.
“Legislators, by waiting, are costing taxpayers in Illinois millions of dollars by their lack of action, by their delay, so it is imperative for legislators to understand (that) this is the time to vote on a bill, pass a bill, put it on the governor’s desk so I can sign it into law and get this issue resolved,” he said.
The state is dealing with an unfunded pension liability of $100 billion after decades of under-funding the pension plans. Quinn says that liability grows by $5 million a day under current law.
The proposals under consideration mainly address the cost of living adjustment that beneficiaries get. Some proposals raise the retirement age, and there are proposals that raise or lower the employee contribution.
Affected are pensions for state employees, state university employees and teachers and school administrators, and retirees from those positions.