Anxiety and anger are growing among Illinois state employees and retirees who wonder what will happen to their pocketbooks if lawmakers make expected changes to the state's pension systems. Workers spent their careers paying into their pension funds what the law told them to pay. But the state for decades skipped or shorted its required payments.
Now lawmakers are scrambling to fix a multibillion shortfall in the money needed to cover the five state pension systems. Paul Morton is an office assistant for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. He calls some of the legislature's proposed changes legalized robbery. He says he won't be able to afford his health care costs upon retirement if his pension benefits are diminished.