Update May 31 9:40 pm:
There will be no vote on pension cutting legislation that would impact participants and retirees in the TRS and SURS systems.
But it was clear from statements from Gov. Quinn and from the sponsor of SB1673, House Republican Leader Tom Cross, that “pension reform” for those and other state pension systems remains a top priority.
A couple of hours after Cross announced the TRS/SURS bill would not move during the session, which is scheduled to end at midnight May 30, the State Senate passed and sent to the House legislation that called for the same sort of pension cuts to be applied to members of the state employee (SURS) and General Assembly (GARS) systems. The House adjourned without considering it.
Gov. Quinn indicated a special session would be scheduled, following meetings next week with the legislative leaders on how to proceed with “pension reform.”
Update May 31:
House Republican Leader Tom Cross has informed the chamber that there will not be a pension vote in the spring legislation session, which is scheduled to end tonight.
“It’s a summer issue,” said Cross. He said that since Speaker Madigan has transferred sponsorship of the pension cutting bill to him, Democratic support had dropped.
There is no doubt that the thousands of calls to lawmakers in the last week, along with the intense lobbying by IEA leaders, members and staff, helped bring about this result.
More to come.
Pension cutting legislation can emerge at any moment in the Illinois General Assembly on this, the last scheduled day of work for the lawmakers.
This morning House committee approved changes to SB1673 that had been sought by Republican lawmakers, paving the way for a vote by the full house.
The IEA Government Relations Department has prepared this new updated (4:50pm) FactSheet on SB1673.
IEA and the labor coalition strongly oppose SB1673 and all other pension bills pending in the Illinois General Assembly.
The number to call to tell your legislator to vote NO on all pension bills opposed by the labor coalition is 888-412-6570
- Forces active employees who do not agree to a reduced cola to lose access to retirement health insurance upon retirement. In addition, the amount of salary on which their pension is based would be capped.
- Does not include the guaranteed pension funding language that the labor coalition has asked for in order to consider other pension changes.
- Reduces retiree benefits by offering a choice between either keeping the current COLA benefit but losing access to health insurance, or, agreeing to a reduced COLA while retaining access to insurance.
- Changes the balance on the TRS board by providing two seats on the board to representatives of the school boards. The two seats would be taken from the positions currently appointed by the governor.
- Bars districts from bargaining the impact of any changes made by this law.
That number to be connected to your legislators is 888-412-6570.
Follow the prompts and ask to be connected with your representative and senator.
IEA members who are out of school are encouraged to come to the statehouse to lobby lawmakers to oppose #sb1673 and any other bill opposed by the unions.