Illinois Pension Reform

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Update Friday Afternoon:

Illinois’ payment to its largest public-pension fund is expected to increase by more than $400 million next year. The Teachers Retirement System trustees agreed Friday to lower the assumed rate of return on investments from 7.5% to 7%.

The Illinois Supreme Court today struck down a recently passed law designed to fix the nation's worst funded public pension system, putting Illinois lawmakers and the state's new Republican governor back to square one as they try to solve a huge state budget crisis.

The law enacted in December 2013, would have eliminated annually occurring 3% cost of living increases in pension benefits. It also would have upped the retirement age for state workers and limited the amount of salary that could be used to calculate pensions.

The Illinois Legislature's fall veto session is just a week away, but a committee tasked with the solving the state's enormous pension problem is divided.

An Associated Press survey of the 10-member committee found five Democrats support a plan that would save the state $138 billion over 30 years.

Illinois' top Democratic legislative leaders are asking the Illinois Supreme Court to reject Governor Pat Quinn's appeal of a lawsuit over legislative pay.

Quinn halted lawmakers' pay in July until pension reform was achieved. A Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled last month that the move was unconstitutional and ordered lawmakers to be sent back pay, with interest. An appeal is being reviewed by the state Supreme Court.

A proposed solution to Illinois' historic $100 million pension crisis is hanging in the balance as the state Legislature's October veto session approaches.

Key Democrats on a pension panel are pushing a plan to save the state $138 billion over the next 30 years, but Republican lawmakers want a number of changes.

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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says lawmakers who didn't send him a pension overhaul bill have let down taxpayers.  Quinn set Tuesday as the deadline for a bipartisan pension panel to report back with a plan. That was even as members of the so-called conference committee formed last month called his deadline arbitrary and irresponsible.  Quinn says there'll be consequences, but he's declined to say exactly what he'd do. 

Illinois lawmakers will return to Springfield June 19 for a special session to solve the state's nearly $100 billion pension crisis.

Gov. Pat Quinn's announcement of the special session comes as Moody’s Investor Service lowered the state's credit rating from A3 to A2. That’s just three levels above junk status.

Gov. Pat Quinn and Senate President John Cullerton have met to discuss the stalemate over a solution to Illinois' pension crisis, but House Speaker Michael Madigan didn't show up.

Aides to all three leaders had no details on Tuesday's roughly hour-long meeting in Quinn's Chicago office. Neither Cullerton nor Quinn addressed reporters.

Both the House and Senate remained deadlocked on a solution to the nearly $100 billion problem.