Ill. House votes down Madigan pension reform
SPRINGFIELD – A hearing Thursday on the Illinois House floor intended to gauge lawmakers’ support for potential pension reforms turned into a tense squabble between Democrats and Republicans, a sign of the escalating frustration at the lack of compromise on the state’s most pressing financial problem.
House Speaker Michael Madigan called the hearing to get legislators to openly debate and vote on four divisive proposals that could affect some of the state’s retirement systems. None of them garnered more than five “yes” votes in the 118-member body, and Republicans refused to even participate.
Madigan’s contentious amendments would have eliminated cost-of-living increases, prohibit COLA payouts in years when the pensions are not funded at 80 percent or more of the total they owe, require employees hired after January 2011 to pay an additional 5 percent toward their pensions on top of other contributions, and penalize retirement before age 67 with reduced benefits.
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