June 1, 2012
UPDATE: Illinois House Adjourns With Prospect of Special Session
UPDATE: 6/1/12, 2 p.m.:
Due to the intensive lobbying efforts of organized labor, SB 1673 did not have enough votes, therefore it was not called on the last night of session. The House adjourned last night. There is no date yet set for any special session, though it is expected in the near future.
There is a possibility of a special session to take up action on the remaining state systems including the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) and the State University Retirement System (SURS).
The State Senate did, however, pass a pension reform bill last night: HB 1447. The bill applies changes to the State Employees Retirement System (SERS) and the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS). HB 1447 creates new provisions to these pensions systems for current employees and retired employees, including the following choices that these workers will have to make:
HB 1447 still needs to pass the House.
HB 4513, which applies to Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Pension Reform, passed both the House and Senate last night.
5/31/12, 3 p.m.:
Late last night Illinois House of Representatives Speaker Michael Madigan removed himself as the sponsor of SB 1673. Republican House Minority Leader Tom Cross now sponsors the bill.
Madigan removed himself as sponsor of the bill after Gov. Quinn requested that the cost shift of teacher pensions from state to local governments be removed from the bill.
Republicans introduced an amendment to the bill, which passed out of the House Pensions Committee today and is expected to be voted on by the House of Representatives today. The amended bill removes the cost shift of teacher pensions from state to local governments and also removes the Tier II cash balances program.
5/30/12, 2 p.m.:
The Illinois House of Representatives did not vote on SB 1673 last night. A vote is still expected today. The legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on May 31.
One of the main obstacles preventing a vote in the opposition by some of switching the cost of teacher’s pension from the state to local governments.
The Senate is considering a similar pension reform package today. A hearing before the Senate Executive committee this morning considered HB 1447, HB 3076 and HB 3865. These bills contain the same provisions as SB 1673 but are separated by the pension systems effected: State Employee Retirement System, State University Retirement System and the Teachers Retirement System.
All public sector labor unions continue to fight against these changes that impact both active employees and those currently retire. Members are strongly encouraged to call their legislators and voice their concerns.
The bill, which Teamsters Local 700 and all other public sector unions opposed, does not increase employee contributions into the pension system, nor does it increase the retirement age for any employee.
Actives and retirees would have two choices under the bill:
Other highlights include a new funding formula that will be implemented in FY 2015 that will set a 30-year plan to address the current liabilities as well as a new cash balance plan that will be established for Tier II participants to supplement the current plan.
Guaranteed funding of the systems will be accomplished by giving the pension board the right to sue and force the state to pay. There will also be a cost shift of the normal cost to school districts phased in over time. A new State Actuary position will also be created within the Office of the Auditor General.
Local 700 continues to lobby against this bill and will provide updates as they become available.
Becky Strzechowski, President
1300 W. Higgins Rd. Suite 301
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