Il House could vote on Madigan pension proposal

May 1, 2013

The Illinois House could vote this week on a new pension proposal. Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan has come through on a promise of a comprehensive overhaul.

His version would fully fund Illinois' troubled retirement systems within 30 years in part by requiring state employees younger than 45 to work longer. It would cap salary that determines the pensions of government workers, public school teachers and university employees. And it would reduce retired workers' future cost-of-living adjustments.

Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno says she hopes it's a sign lawmakers are on track to solving Illinois' pension problem.

"I'm encouraged that we have another comprehensive bill in front of us that draws from a lot of different ideas, which I think is a positive. I don't know how this will go through process-wise. Because of course this has just been filed in the House, which means it needs to get through committee there, needs to pass the House and then it needs to come to the Senate. So we're a long way from resolution."

In the Senate is where the measure may have real trouble. Democratic Senate President John Cullerton has shown no sign of backing down from a different approach. He's been in heavy negotiations with unions, and Cullerton's spokeswoman says those talks will continue. 

Unions are already slamming Madigan's plan. They say it's unfair to punish workers for a pension problem politicians created.