Debate continues over pension reform

Published 02/24 2013 05:53PM

Updated 02/25 2013 09:49AM

SPRINGFIELD -- The pension squeeze continues to choke the state's budget, and it looks like lawmakers won't be coming to the rescue anytime soon. They're still torn over what benefits state workers should have to sacrifice and if any of the proposals are even constitutional.

Rep. Lou Lang (D) of Skokie thinks he has a plan that addresses both those issues. He recently filed a bill calling for some major changes: state workers would have to pay an extra 3%, the retirement age would be pushed back to 67, and school districts would have to take on the costs for teacher pensions. 

That's not all. He also wants to make the income tax hike permanent, then use that money to pay down the pension debt.
Governor Quinn recently learned of the bill and says it's not just about creating more revenue. He thinks the pension system needs a complete overhaul. The pension system's unfunded liability is nearing $100 billion.

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