Dueling pension plans in IL House, Senate

May 1, 2013

Illinois' top Democrats are going forward with competing pension proposals.  One of them is scheduled for a vote Thursday.  Despite unions' strong stance against it, House Speaker Michael Madigan says he expects the House will pass his plan.  It would require state employees stay on the job until they're 67 years old before they could draw a full pension.  It also reduces future pension payouts.  But even as that package was gaining steam, Madigan's fellow Democrat, Senate President John Cullerton, was cooking up a different proposal, this one the brainchild of labor leaders.

 "The fact that the president of the Senate and the unions are putting their full weight behind something means something too. So if we’re able to get our caucus to support a position the unions are for, that would be significant as well.”

 Given their large memberships, and campaign warchests, union support would be significant.  Cullerton is not sharing details about what's in this deal.  But in a statement, a coalition of unions says its version is "fair" and "constitutional."