Lawmakers weigh-in on pension proposals

Jul 23, 2013

A key committee of legislators continue to formulate a new way to overhaul state pensions, but early indications are that it does not apply to all of the state's retirement systems.   At least one representative wants to make sure any changes are felt across the board. IPR’s Amanda Vinicky has more: 

 The General Assembly has considered plans that would reduce teachers', university employees', state workers' and even legislators' own benefits.

But not judges'.

There's a reason for that - many believe that due to certain constitutional concerns, and because any pension law will ultimately go before the State Supreme Court, justices should be exempt.  But Rep. Dan Brady, says it's fundamentally unfair.

 "I don’t want to oversimplify the process.   But ... what's good for one pension system in reform should be good for all pension systems in reform."

 Brady sent a letter to members of a special pension committee asking they include judges' pension benefits in whatever package they next cook up.

He's also filed legislation that, if passed separately, would make any changes that affect Illinois' other pension  systems apply to the judges' as well.

Brady, a Republican, represents Bloomington -- home to Illinois State University. Benefit reductions haven't been popular with public university employees -- though the basis of a new plan that's gaining traction is based off of an idea from some University of Illinois professors.