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Illinois Mayors Call on Lawmakers for Fire, Police Pension Relief

Illinois Mayors Call on Lawmakers for Fire, Police Pension Relief

Photo: Newsradio WTAX

A group of Illinois mayors is calling for an overhaul to local pension systems for police and fire departments, but it’s unclear if state lawmakers will take up the issue anytime soon.

No legislation has been drafted and negotiations are in a preliminary stage.

Mayors from communities including Rockford, Aurora, Peoria and several Chicago suburbs spoke Monday. Among the suggested ideas are raising the retirement age and lower annual cost-of-living adjustments.

The mayors say pension problems are “choking local government budgets” and warn some communities will have to raise property taxes or cut services to cover pension obligations.

The effort comes after lawmakers approved legislation overhauling two Chicago pension funds. It hasn’t been signed into law yet.

Pension programs are created by state law, so only legislators can approve changes.

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