Pension Reform Bill Possible During Lame Duck Session

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The pension debate in Illinois isn't over yet. With a few days left for the 97th General Assembly to pass a reform bill, a new plan might be in the works.

There has been a dramatic shift in the conversation in Springfield; the possibility of having local school districts pick up a larger percentage of the state's pension tab is no longer on the table. Representative Jim Sacia (R)-89th says there have been indications from House Speaker Mike Madigan that Madigan wants to find a different solution that wouldn't shift pension costs from the state to the local school districts. One proposal is to offer younger government workers and teachers the option of a 401-K type plan instead of a pension. Another idea is to freeze a retiree's cost of living adjustments for a time. Lawmakers may not have enough time to cobble together a pension reform bill but social says, it’s a good possibility if lawmakers are willing to compromise.

“It’s just so difficult to nail something down at this point in time because there is nothing definitive and the only way to make the pension system sustainable is to have everyone give some and that's where alot of people have a great deal of heartburn,” says Sacia.

The House meets Monday morning through Tuesday. A bill to grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and another assault weapons ban bill could also be in the works. The Senate is not slated to reconvene but may squeeze in a last minute meeting depending on what measures make it out of the House.

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