A multi-tiered pension proposal put forth by Governor Bruce Rauner was examined during an Illinois House committee Wednesday.
Rauner wants to offer employees incentives like a one-time pay bump or extra vacation time. In exchange, public workers would receive a smaller pension. With his plan, workers who opt to stick with their current pension setup would not have future wage increases counted toward their retirement earnings. The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that it's unconstitutional to diminish state employees' pension benefits. Unions leaders, like Will Lovett of the Illinois Education Association, say the Court would also find Rauner’s attempt illegal.
"It would be helpful if people would re-read the recent court decision ... so that any ideas going before the legislature would be based on reality, and not just the political whims of the day."
Labor is also upset because the governor's plan seeks to severely limit unions' ability to collectively bargain. The Rauner administration argues its method is legal because it gives employees options, rather than unilaterally diminishing benefits.