Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Cullerton to Madigan: Consider union plan for pension changes

Senate President John Cullerton said today that his negotiations with union leaders have produced a pension proposal that lawmakers in both chambers should consider.

Giving no details of the plan, Cullerton released a statement announcing a deal this afternoon. “Since the beginning of session, I have made it clear that enacting constitutional pension reform is my top priority. Illinois faces a crisis; we owe it to our children and grandchildren to take action,” Cullerton said in a written statement. “I have worked to build consensus for reform within my caucus and across the diverse factions on both sides of the aisle. In these pension discussions, I have expressed a preference for the framework that, in my view, has the best chance of holding up in court. I have also worked to include labor in these conversations. Today, I concluded a series of meetings with representatives of teachers, nurses, police officers and other public employees. This coalition of labor leaders offered a credible and constitutional plan for consideration.”

The House is expected to vote on a pension plan tomorrow. Cullerton believes that proposal is unconstitutional. Both House Speaker Michael Madigan and the bill’s other sponsor, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, were optimistic about the possibility of the bill passing in the House tomorrow.

However, Cullerton urged lawmakers in both chambers to consider the plan he says he has worked out with the unions. “Because inaction is not an option, I believe that it is appropriate to begin discussing this plan with the members of my caucus and with the speaker of the House. It’s important that we advance a credible solution to our pension problems.”


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