People on WSIU Radio
Fri September 14, 2012
State Pension Reform Remains Unresolved
The chances of quick action on Illinois' pension problems are growing slimmer.
Governor Pat Quinn says that he believes a pension overhaul can be passed by the end of the legislative session, which begins in January. The governor wants action ``as soon as possible,'' but his remarks did not suggest that will happen this fall. His comments come a day after Senate President John Cullerton told the Chicago Tribune he doesn't think a pension overhaul can pass until January, when legislative rules mean passage requires fewer votes. House Speaker Michael Madigan has hinted at the same timetable. Officials want to reduce retirement benefits for public employees to limit what state government pays each year. They're divided over what costs school districts should cover.
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services last month lowered Illinois' rating because of pension funding levels and lack of action on reform measures. The firm also said the state's financial outlook is negative, in part because the state's temporary income tax is scheduled to expire in 2015.