SB 512 (Pension) Update

Pension reform is being pushed back to the fall veto session, according to a release from Madigan and Cross. Political Blog, CapitalFax, has a copy of the text:

May 30, 2011
STATEMENT REGARDING PENSION REFORM

We are absolutely committed to reforming Illinois’ public pension system for current employees. It must be done to stabilize our systems and address long term financial issues for both the public employee pension systems and state government.

We believe passage of legislation addressing this issue is essential to the state’s well being.

It was made very clear during the May 26th hearing in the Personnel and Pensions Committee that both those who support pension reform and those who are opposed to Senate Bill 512 acknowledge we have a problem and something must be done.

Our goal is to enact reforms to our pension systems that provide a long term solution for both those who are members of the pension systems and those who fund them.

We will convene meetings over the summer to address the issues and concerns that have been raised and work toward a solution in this year’s Fall Veto Session.

-Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan
-Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross
-Tyrone Fahner, President, Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago

This is both good news and bad news. The good news is that this gives us more time to educate and persuade legislators and the general public on the importance of pensions. The bad news is that the third signer of that release, Tyrone Fahner, is one of the people pushing the hardest to dismantle public employee pensions. I question how he is important enough to actually be part of this release — unlike the other two elected officials. Speaking personally, I feel his name is a sign that the politicians are not working for the people who voted them in office but, rather, for the special interest groups that give them money. This makes our job harder — but all the more important.

Still no news on SB 175, which would negatively effect the cost of SURS health insurance.

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