Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is moving forward with a plan to require local school districts to pay their share of teacher pensions. Currently the state covers pension payments for teachers in suburban Chicago and downstate Illinois. Madigan says it's a "free lunch" for those districts. He says the practice has exacerbated Illinois' nearly $100 billion crisis and "should come to an end as soon as possible."
The Chicago Democrat is convening a panel that will meet tomorrow to work on legislation. Republicans oppose shifting the cost to local districts because they fear if each district is responsible for its own retirement fund, property taxes will increase.