Illinois Senate Still Working On Pension Bill

May 1, 2013

Senator John J. Cullerton

A spokeswoman for Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says he will keep working to pass a pension reform bill he believes can survive a court challenge. Rikeesha Phelon says Cullerton and fellow Democrat House Speaker Michael Madigan have "the same goal but different approaches" to solving Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis. Madigan filed his pension plan yesterday. It caps the salary on which a pension can be based at $110,000 and limits annual cost-of-living increases. 

Madigan's legislation also removes language from a plan backed by Cullerton that got Senate approval last month. Cullerton's plan offers affected state-government employees and teachers a choice of benefits instead of unilaterally cutting them. Cullerton believes the state must give retirees a choice in benefits in order for the legislation to be considered constitutional.