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Send an E-mail to Members of the Conference Committee

7/08/2013
The legislative conference committee on pensions met Monday afternoon in Springfield to hear more testimony. The committee had invited Governor Quinn to testify, but the Governor sent the head of the budget office instead. 

Representative Mike Fortner testified on his pension plan, HB 2365. The bill calls for the employee and employer to split the normal cost of a pension 50/50. It would cap the amount of salary that could be made pensionable and employees would have the option to move into a defined benefit plan similar to what is currently offered to members of the State Universities Retirement System (SURS). Once the current pension bonds are paid, this plan would shift that revenue towards paying off the unfunded liability. He also clearly stated that the current tier 2 pension system violates federal pension law and must be fixed.

Much of the hearing was spent debating the Governor’s public comments about pensions and his lack of attendance at the hearing. Senator Kwame Raoul strongly questioned Jerry Stermer of the Governor’s office as to why the Governor insists on a July 9 deadline when the actuaries haven’t finished analyzing new pension proposals. Mr. Stermer continued to state concerns about the slow pace of the committee.

Testimony was heard from Professor William Barclay about the benefits of a financial transactions tax. Rich Whitney also testified about legislation HB 1554, that would implement this tax. He also testified on HB 7, a bill that would create an IL. public bank that would keep tax dollars here and invest them in Illinois rather than depositing state dollars in banks that invest outside of the state.  

The committee will continue to work in subgroups and recessed until the call of the chair.

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.
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