Taxpayer Watchdog Group on Pensions

By: Lauren Kravets
By: Lauren Kravets

ILLINOIS (WIFR) – Pension reform is an ongoing problem in Illinois, the state’s system is underfunded by nearly $100 billion dollars, but legislators will try once again to come up with a solution.

There’s a new group called “Concerned Citizens for Rockford”, the taxpayer watchdogs will be following the general assembly as they meet next week for the fall veto session. That’s when they could vote on pension reform.

A 10-member committee has come up with ta plan that would save $138 billion dollars over 30 years. But the committee is divided on the proposal. However, Senate president John Cullerton says lawmakers could still call a vote if the plan is placed in another bill. James Novak founder of Concerned Citizens for Rockford says the state should freeze cost of living increases to get a handle on the pension crisis.

"The COLA should be eliminated for a period of time until we can get back to financially fiscally responsible. Right now we're just letting things go and until we take drastic measures, even though it was promised to these people, the money is not there,” said Novak.

Concerned Citizens for Rockford just formed in May of this year. For taxpayer information and how to attend their next meeting, you can check out their website at

We spoke with Representative John Cabello and he thinks there’s a 50-50 chance lawmakers will vote on Pension Reform next week, if that. They head back on Tuesday. He thinks maybe they could see a bill by the second week.

They could also tackle minimum wage increases and back pay for ASCME workers.

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