After shirking the blame for a tax increase and picking up Republican support, the speaker of the Illinois House passed a bill that restructures two Chicago pension funds: the municipal fund and the laborers’ fund.
Participants would pay more and get less. But, says Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), “At least you’ll get a pension check. The municipal fund … is scheduled to be out of money in about 10 years. Yes, contributions will go up. Benefits will go down. But there will be a check coming to help people in retirement.”
The bill stalled last week because lawmakers would not agree to force Chicago’s city council to raise property taxes. Now it’s simply up to those aldermen to figure out how to solve it.
Not everybody was buying it. “Let’s don’t kid anybody. What we’re talking about today is a massive property tax increase,” said State Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills). “The plan is to raise property taxes … $750 million over the next five years.”
The measure passed both chambers and now heads to the governor.