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Illinois lawmakers fail to fix pension mess

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Illinois lawmakers failed to fix the state’s pension mess in the lame-duck session that ended Tuesday.

A new General Assembly gets sworn-in on Wednesday.

The House never called its own pension reform bill for lack of votes and lawmakers ignored a last-ditch effort by Gov. Pat Quinn to appoint a super committee whose reform decisions would automatically become law.

State Senate President John Cullerton took a swipe at the governor’s leadership skills, suggesting that getting bills passed isn’t his strong suit, “You know what, I think the guy’s done a good job.  Now, it’s not his strength passing legislation in the general assembly.  You know that, he’s never really been in the general assembly,”  Cullerton told reporters after the legislature had adjourned.

Cullerton promises to get back to work on pension reform first thing Wednesday.  He supports a Senate version which he claims saves $29 Billion over 30 years.  Illinois’ pension system is underfunded to the tune of $96 Billion, a fact that threatens its credit rating and squeezes out funding for other vital programs like education.

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1 Comment

  • Dr. Suess

    The pension crisis is COMPLETELY the politicians fault and now they want to blame the workers who did their job and contributed their share. Just look at the "groups" like IL is broke, The Civic Federation, or Reboot IL. (which I think are one in the same just different names to increase the propaganda). They claim (1.) 22% of the crisis is because of LOWER THAN EXPECTED RETURNS ON INVESTMENTS. (2.) 44%of the crisis is because of Underfunding of Normal Cost Plus Interest payment and (3.) 34% is because of Varances and/or changes in actuarial assumptions and other factors. Lets look at #2 & #3. That means 78% OF THE BLAME FALLS DIRECTLY ON THE POLITICIANS. If that 78% was done right we are not even having this conversation right now because the pensions would be funded at roughly 75% or better. Then you have B.S. excuse #1. "Lower than expexted rates of return. From 1988-2012 the S&P 500 increased by 283.45%. That's right TWO HUNDRED EIGHTY THREE PERCENT or an average of 11.81 % per year. From 1997 to 2012 the S&P gained 128.22% or an average of 8.54 % per year. HOW ON EARTH ARE THOSE LESS THAN EXPECTED RATES OF RETURN? The politicians are lying through their teeth. Underfunding, pension holidays, and those "sweet deal" last minute pension bumps and double pensions are what's to blame yet somehow they have convinced A LOT of people that it's the average worker collecting 1 pension that's to blame. WAKE UP SHEEPLE. For those of you saying "let the pensions go broke" then how about we just jack up your taxes and if you don't like it then move out of state. Comments like that are absurd…..