Mt. Vernon Register-News

March 14, 2013

Senate committee OKs 2 pension overhaul plans


Associated Press

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SPRINGFIELD (AP) — An Illinois Senate committee has advanced two somewhat similar proposals to address Illinois' worst-in-nation pension problem.

One plan sponsored by Sen. Daniel Biss replicates part of another plan and delays cost-of-living increases, pushes back the retirement age for some and calls for higher employee contributions. The Senate Executive Committee approved it Wednesday 11-4.

The other sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton echoes some of the same ideas. But it contains a backup plan if the first is deemed unconstitutional. His plan offers employees a choice on whether they want retirement health care or reduced annual cost-of-living increases. The committee approved it 11-3.

Both are headed to the full Senate. Several committee members say they don't agree with either plan but gave tentative approval for more debate on the Senate floor.