Bill to reduce Chicago worker benefits moving through Springfield

Apr 2, 2014

A bill to reduce the retirement benefits for some City of Chicago employees is moving quickly through Springfield.  

A key State House committee approved a measure Wednesday to change the benefits of employees in the Municipal and Laborers’ pension funds. Those include more than 56,000 employees like clerical workers and skilled tradesmen.  

Steve Koch is with the city’s mayor’s office. He says if no changes are made to the pension benefits then the city will run out of money to pay them in 10 years.

“It’s unclear what would actually happen at that juncture, but it’s certainly not a situation that any of us want to find out what would happen.” 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is hoping to partly pay for changes in pension benefits with an increase in property taxes.  He’d need city council approval for that.  Three unions testified against the bill, saying it’s unconstitutional.