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It Was A Busy Week in Springfield

3/20/2013
This is the last week of votes before lawmakers go on break, so as expected, we saw a lot of action in Springfield today.

The Illinois Senate passed a pension cutting bill for active members of the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) only. An amendment to SB 1, sponsored by Senate President Cullerton, changed the legislation to apply to just TRS actives and not retirees. This legislation passed by just one vote, 30-22-2. The bill forces current employees to choose between a diminished Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) or elimination of access to health insurance plus a pension freeze at their current salary level. SB 1 doesn’t contain other pension cutting measures.
 
IFT President Dan Montgomery has long objected to this unconstitutional language, saying, “there is no free choice here but a coercive dilemma where a public servant must choose between harm on the one hand or even more harm on the other.”
 
SB 1 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration. You can see how your senator voted here.
 
The Senate could vote at any time on a similar bill for state and university employees. Senate Bill 1544, amendment 3, would force members of SERS and SURS to make the same pension decision. Call your senator now and tell him/her to vote NO on SB 1544!

Prior to passing SB 1, the Senate voted down SB 35, sponsored by Senator Daniel Biss, 23-30-3.
 
 
Please keep an eye on this post for more developments.
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