Cook County looking to restructure employee retirement benefits

May 20, 2015

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is pushing to restructure the retirement benefits of county employees.  But she needs Springfield’s help to do it, and that’s proving to be a challenge.

Like the state of Illinois and City of Chicago, Preckwinkle wants to lower the costs of pensions for Cook County.  That’s in spite of legal questions.

Some key unions argue her plan is unconstitutional.  But Preckwinkle has other hurdles to clear before it’s tested in court.  No Republican state representatives voted for the county pension plan in a House committee today.

Preckwinkle says she spoke with Republican Governor Bruce Rauner last week, and the conversation went, well...

"Umm, it was interesting."

Preckwinkle says Rauner wants a package of pension bills to pass as the state, City of Chicago, Cook County, and several suburbs look to restructure their retirement benefits.  A spokesman for Rauner had no comment.