Quantcast

Madigan calls pension super-majority plan ‘tough medicine’

capitol-dome-offset-ep-1103

SPRINGFIELD — A proposal that would require a supermajority vote to approve public pension boosts in Illinois — by any governmental body, whether it’s state or local — is “real tough medicine,” state House Speaker Michael Madigan said today.

By Jayette Bolinski | Illinois Statehouse News

SPRINGFIELD — A proposal that would require a supermajority vote to approve public pension boosts in Illinois — by any governmental body, whether it’s state or local — is “real tough medicine,” state House Speaker Michael Madigan said today.

“As we move forward, you’ll hear some people in the capitol building say this is real tough medicine. Well, it is,” Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, said. “It’s intended to be tough medicine because review the actions of the Legislature and governors over the last several years… The record would say we need this medicine.”

Madigan, who is sponsoring a constitutional amendment that would require a three-fifths majority vote, instead of a simple majority of 60 votes, before any pension sweetener could be approved, testified before the House Personnel and Pensions Committee on this morning.

The proposal applies to state and county government, city councils, school boards and more.

The committee approved the proposal unanimously. Madigan said he expects the full House to vote on it later this week.

The amendment, if it clears the House, also must be approved by the Senate and then the voters this fall.

Officials from public-employee unions at the hearing agreed that the state has a serious pension problem, but said the proposal fails to address the real problem — the government’s failure to fund pensions properly.

“Unfortunately, it’s the wrong medicine for this disease,” said Henry Bayer, executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31, which represents about 70,000 public employees in Illinois.

Illinois has an unfunded pension liability of $85 billion.

Editors’ Picks