• Illinois Senate OKs union-backed pension deal

    by  • May 9, 2013 • News

    The Illinois Senate has approved a union-supported bill to deal with the nation’s worst state pension problem. The move leaves lawmakers with two competing proposals just weeks before the Legislature is scheduled to adjourn.illinois_senatex400

    The Senate voted 40-16 Thursday to advance the measure sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton.

    The Chicago Democrat’s plan would give workers and retirees a choice in retirement benefits. He says it’s the only approach to solving Illinois’ nearly $100 billion pension crisis that will hold up in court.

    But House Speaker Michael Madigan prefers a plan he says would save the state three times more money.

    Public-employee unions have said they’ll file a lawsuit if Madigan’s bill passes. They say it violates a clause in the state constitution that says pension benefits can’t be reduced.