Lawmakers advance Emanuel Chicago pension plan

Apr 8, 2014

A bill to cut retirement benefits for some City of Chicago employees has made its way to the governor’s desk. But it’s not clear whether he will sign it. IPR'S Tony Arnold reports.

In one day, the Illinois State House and Senate approved a measure affecting more than 56-thousand city laborers and municipal workers. The bill would have current employees pay more toward their pensions - while retirees would get less money in benefits.

Before yesterday’s votes, Governor Quinn was coy when asked by reporters about the plan.

"Well I have to see the final bill. That’s what I do with all bills. When the bill passes, you review it and I’m gonna review it from top to bottom," says Quinn.

Quinn wouldn’t endorse Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to raise revenue to help pay for the pensions by increasing the city’s property taxes. Instead, Quinn suggested looking at tax loopholes but didn’t say which loopholes he was referring to.

A property tax increase would need approval of Chicago’s City Council. Meantime, labor unions representing some city workers are hoping Quinn vetoes the bill.