A union-backed approach for dealing with Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis is getting its first full airing. A Senate committee will hold a hearing today on the new legislative proposal. The measure gives workers and retirees a choice of benefit packages. Senate President John Cullerton says the plan saves money and would survive a court challenge.
Critics say the cost savings may not be enough to properly address Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension shortfall. Senate Democrats opted to move forward with the union-supported proposal over a plan approved in the House last week that would unilaterally cut retirement benefits.