Law Tightens Pension Loophole for Former Lawmakers

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Quinn budget chief: pension roadblock 'baffling'

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Gov. Pat Quinn's budget director says the gridlock on an Illinois pension overhaul is "baffling" but the looming special session could still produce results.

   In an interview Thursday with The Associated Press, Jerry Stermer said he expected more Republicans to back efforts to cut government pension costs. He rejects their argument that the current pension proposal would increase property taxes by sticking schools with new pension costs.

   The Democratic governor has ordered a special legislative session on Friday, but there's little chance of action. Democrats insist on shifting some pension costs to schools, and Republicans remain adamantly opposed.

   Stermer says Quinn will meet with top lawmakers and again urge them to compromise. But he rejects a compromise that would drop the cost-shift.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- A new Illinois law will keep former lawmakers from boosting their public pensions by taking a short-term government job at a higher salary.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Thursday requiring a city or county that hires a former legislator for less than two years to pay the increased share of the former lawmaker's pension.

Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross sponsored the measure. The Oswego Republican says it will tighten a loophole that has been abused for years.

The legislation follows reports in the Chicago Tribune on Chicago Democrat Robert Molaro, a former state representative who increased his pension to more than $120,000 a year by working one month for Chicago Alderman Edward Burke.

The pension deals were permitted under agreements between government agencies and the General Assembly Retirement System.

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