Illinois union leaders are encouraging lawmakers to support a pension reform proposal that they recently agreed on with the state's Senate president. A coalition of unions announced yesterday it reached an agreement with Senate President John Cullerton on a possible solution to the state's $97 billion pension crisis. Michael Carrigan is the president of the Illinois AFL-CIO. He says the group is trying to ensure fairness for public employees and retirees.
The union-backed measure gives workers and retirees a choice of benefit packages. Carrigan says the group is asking legislators to oppose a solution that House Speaker Michael Madigan backs. Madigan's plan calls for higher pension contributions from employees and limits on how much in pension benefits retirees may collect.