Pensions in Illinois
This week, I was honored to join Representative Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) and 19 other bold legislators to support a new bi-partisan pension proposal to address the state’s crushing pension obligations. It is a comprehensive proposal that is designed to jump start the stalled process of stabilizing the underfunded state pension systems while also making them affordable for taxpayers.
You can watch a video of some of the press conference and thoughts on the bill at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UWZhNqZoN7U.
House Bill 6258 includes some new ideas but also takes the best ideas from many of the previous comprehensive pension bills that have been introduced. It was developed by a group of rank and file legislators who came together out of frustration with the lack of progress being made on this significant issue.
In contrast to previous proposals, this legislation is designed to provide greater protection for those who receive only a small pension check and to preserve more benefits for those who are closer to the end of their career and who have less time to adjust to the benefit changes. It also includes a strong funding guarantee to make sure the State keeps its promise to fund the pensions. Finally, we have introduced this legislation more than one month before it could potentially be voted on in order to avoid the charge that stakeholders did not have adequate time to review and discuss the legislation.
Legislators will spend the next month digesting and discussing the proposal with all interested parties with the goal of voting on a bill in early January, 2013. As always, I welcome your thoughts and input on this issue that is so critically important to the future of our great state.