Quinn calls lawmakers into special session on pension reform

Gov Pat Quinn is calling state lawmakers back to Springfield for a special session to deal with the state’s downgraded credit rating.  Quinn says taxpayers are on the hook for $17 million dollars each day without pension reform.

The spring legislative session ended last week with no deal on competing bills passed in the House and the Senate.

House speaker Michael Madigan would cut costs by cutting back on pension benefits for retirees and current state workers.

Senate President John Cullerton’s plan, which is supported by the unions, takes a more cautious approach with less savings for the state by tying pension benefits to health coverage.

Pension plan moves forward in SpringfieldThe governor called a meeting with both leaders earlier this week.

Madigan did not show up.  His spokesperson says he wasn’t available.

Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno, who supports the House plan,  says she’s hopeful, but not terribly optimistic Democratic leadership will be able to break the stalemate.

“Taxpayers absolutely should be outraged because the failure to solve the pension problem impacts every part of state government…the pension obligation is swallowing us up ,” she said.

Quinn released a statement saying,  “Time and time again over the past two years, I have proposed, asked and pushed members of the General Assembly to send me a comprehensive pension reform bill. Time and time again, failure to act by deadlines has resulted in the bond rating agencies lowering our credit rating, which hurts our economy, wastes taxpayer money and shortchanges the education of our children.”

The special session is scheduled for June 19th.

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9 comments

  • vdeb80

    The reason a pension bill does not get passed is because it's not the one the Big Wigs big business men and the other crooks like Madigan want. He is a major cause that the pension system is in the fix it's in. Because with Madigan and all the other state of IL politcians it has been, "The Fix is In." The grunts like the classroom teachers, fireman, policemen are trying to get their voices and versions of pension reform heard but the crooks keep blocking it. That's how this rank and file retired Il special educator views it.

  • WonderingWhy

    It may be time for pensions to no longer be offered in any form to any worker, public sector or private. We can use our savings to invest in our retirement. This would mean those who formerly had pensions would have to direct income themselves towards their retirement plans. To only have a portion of the population eligible for pensions, and for that population to be politcally organized and manipulated at the expense of the larger population of tax payers who are taxed without the benefit of the pension seems wrong to me. Teachers, police, fire, politicians, etc. can get paid wages commensurate with their job and direct a portion of those wages towards retirement just the same as the larger population does. There seems to be too sweet a deal for those who retire with full pension and benefits, and move on to another public sector job and double dip. I know I'm jealous of this arrangement and would double dip all day long. I'm already working two jobs without the guaranteed pension so I can have some extra spending money!

    • retiredinaz1

      ……but you do understand that teachers in Illinois do not get social security. I retired a few years ago…I am receiving a teachers pension…….and yes, haveto have another job to make ends meet…..with all my other misc. jobs I would be eligible for social security…but because of the "pension offset', my s.s. payment is going to be $58.45 a month.

      • Ismael

        Those workers who worked hard and for a long time should get a pension but They have to contribute their fair share to that pension. In Illinois taxpayers pay most of that money. This what makes me angry. Why should I contribute to your pension, You don't contribute to mine. Every time I see my real estate bill I start cursing. I pay pension for every dept. in Dupage county. This includes police, firemen, library, park district, College of Dupage, Dupage Airport, etc. This is too much.

      • john

        I would gladly trade my social security for your sweet heart teacher pension. What do you get about 80% of your salary and you work only 9 months a year.

      • Wisconsinite

        Retired a young man didn't you . Your name above : retired in Arizona, sweet deal, how's the weather you snowbird

      • retiredinAz1

        to Wisconsinite…yeas, I did retire a young man….that was after teaching 34 years so not like I did not put in my time…..and John, you lowered yourself by saying teachers only work 9 months….that is no choice of ours….first of all do not get paid for those 3 months……so the annual checks are divided up for 12 months instead of 9…….and to Ismael, most workers contribute 6% to their social security, Chicago teachers (not downstate teachers) contribute 9% to their pensions so yes, we do indeed fund our own pensions. the new laws are going to have to regulate the thousands of districts outside of Chicago…that is where your taxes go!

  • John

    Another great waste of taxes to pay for this special session. They could not do the job in regular time so now they will get paid overtime. We need Recall in Illinois.


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