Saturday, June 23, 2012
Legislative Leaders Put Off Pension Talks Again
Legislative leaders reportedly decided this week to take a five-week break from pension reform talks. Republicans and Democrats are deadlocked of the issue of shifting State pension costs to school districts, universities and community colleges.
Republicans say that such a shift would result in increased property taxes. Democrats say that schools, which determine the salary that their employees' pensions are based on, should pay retirement costs instead of setting the pay and passing the pension bill off to the state.
Gov. Pat Quinn, who previously called for a bill to be approved by then end of June, urged them not to drag their feet. “This is not something that you can run in place on. This is a time for action,” he said.
Democrats point to the fact that Chicago pays most of the cost for its teachers’ pensions. Quinn argued that a very gradual shift, over as many as 15 years, could be absorbed by schools without property tax increases. Republicans say that such a shift should be looked at in the overall context of school funding issues and is not necessary to enact pension reform that would begin to address the state’s estimated $85 billion unfunded liability.
You can read Jamey's full report at: http://illinoisissuesblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/legislative-leaders-plan-to-put-off.html