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We Are One Illinois Pension Update

6/25/2013

Read this update on pensions from our We Are One Illinois coalition:‬

Legislature Forms "Conference Committee" -- Take Action!

June Special Session Summary

The Illinois legislature met on June 19 for a special session on pensions and put the fate of pension legislation in the hands of a “conference committee.”

During June session, the Senate overwhelmingly rejected Senate Bill 1 -- House Speaker Michael Madigan's pension-cutting "mega-bill" – for the third time. Yet, Speaker Madigan refused to allow a fair, democratic floor vote on Senate Bill 2404 -- even though SB 2404 has the support of our union coalition, Senate President John Cullerton, State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, a majority of House and Senate lawmakers, and a range of organizations representing retirees and active employees. Read more on SB 2404 here.

Instead, the failure of SB 1 prompted the House and Senate to form a joint "conference committee" of ten legislators. The committee is charged with developing pension legislation. The House and the Senate would both have to take full floor votes on any conference committee legislation.

Unfortunately, the conference committee is heavily stacked with SB 1 supporters who have voted in the past to devastate the retirement security of public employees and seniors. Members include Democratic Reps. Elaine Nekritz, Arthur Turner and Michael Zalewski; Republican Reps. Darlene Senger and Jil Tracy; Democratic Sens. Kwame Raoul, Linda Holmes and Daniel Biss; and Republican Sens. Matt Murphy and William Brady.

Take Action

Once again, we must take action to protect the retirement benefits that public workers contributed toward, even as the state failed to pay its share.

Click here to send an e-mail to members of the conference committee to encourage them to adopt the plan embodied in the original SB 2404 and to explore ideas beyond cutting modest pensions.

If your state representative or senator is not on the committee, please contact them at 888-412-6570 or click here to call. Tell them to demand a House floor vote on SB 2404, and tell them to reject any other plans -- including any future bills developed by the conference committee -- if they do not have the support of the We Are One Illinois union coalition.
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