State lawmakers in Springfield approved a sweeping pension reform bill this week that aims to cut a $100 billion funding shortfall — the highest in the nation — for the state pension system.
The bill was signed into law on Thursday by Gov. Pat Quinn.
“This landmark legislation is a bipartisan solution that squarely addresses the most difficult fiscal issue Illinois has ever confronted,” Quinn said in a press release Wednesday. “This bill will ensure retirement security for those who have faithfully contributed to the pension systems, end the squeeze on critical education and health care services, and support economic growth.”
The new law increases the retirement age and employee contribution and reduces cost-of-living adjustments for state workers such as teachers and public safety workers. The plan is expected to reduce the funding deficit over 30 years.
A coalition of unions operating under the name “We Are One Illinois” have opposed the pension reform measure, saying that, “Teachers, caregivers, police and others stand to lose huge portions of their life savings because politicians chose to threaten their retirement security.” The group has threatened to challenge the pension reform bill in court.
The state senate approved the reform bill with 30 yeas, 24 nays and 3 voting present; and the state house approved with 62 yeas, 53 nays and 1 present. Here’s how your delegation voted:
Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch (D-7th) Yes
Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-4th) No
Sen. Don Harmon (D-39th) Yes
Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-8th) No
Rep. Camille Y. Lilly (D-78th) No
Rep. Silvana Tabares (D-21st) Yes
Rep. Michael J. Zalewski (D-23rd) Yes
Rep. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez (D-24th) Yes
Sen. Martin A. Sandoval (D-11th) Yes
Sen. Steven M. Landek (D-12th) Yes
Rep. Derrick Smith (D-10th) No