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Illinois House back in session August 17th. A pension bill might be on the agenda.

July 23, 2012

CapitalFax is reporting that the Illinois House might meet for a week beginning August 17th.

Most of the media is reporting that the purpose of the session is to deal with another one of their members who is under federal indictment.

But of more concern than one more crooked House member is HB1447. The bill goes after state employee pension COLAs. The Senate has already passed this pension bill and Senate President John Cullerton says that he won’t call his body (heh) back into session before the election.

But all that has to happen is for the House to pass it (as Senator Kotowski is demanding in the post below) and the bill becomes law with the Governor’s signature.

However, the Governor could call the Senate back into session anyway if there is agreement on broader pension attacks.

Summer is a tough time for lobbying since most teachers are out of school.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Carol May permalink
    July 23, 2012 1:26 pm

    Thanks Fred,
    They think we’re on “vacation,” but thousands of us ARE paying attention!

  2. July 23, 2012 3:14 pm

    HB 1447 Synopsis As Introduced:
    Amends the General Assembly and Judges Articles of the Illinois Pension Code. Provides that, for persons who first become participants of either system on or after the effective date of the amendatory Act: (i) the automatic annual increases in participant and survivor annuities shall be at the rate of 3% or one-half the annual unadjusted percentage increase (but not less than zero) in the consumer price index-u, whichever is less, of the originally granted retirement annuity (rather than at the rate of 3% or the annual unadjusted percentage increase in the consumer price index-u, whichever is less, of the annuity then being paid) and (ii) the annual increases in highest salary for annuity purposes and final average salary shall be at the rate of the lesser of 3% or one-half the annual unadjusted percentage increase (but not less than zero) in the consumer price index-u (rather than at the rate of the lesser of 3% or the annual unadjusted percentage increase in the consumer price index-u).

    House Committee Amendment No. 1
    Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the General Assembly and Judges Articles of the Illinois Pension Code. Reinserts the provisions of the bill as introduced with changes. Authorizes persons who are participants in the affected systems on the effective date to elect the reduced benefits provided in the introduced bill.

    Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the General Provision and State Employee Articles of the Illinois Pension Code. Provides that Tier I employees and Tier I retirees must make an irrevocable election either: (1) to accept changes in eligibility for, and the amount of, automatic annual increases in retirement annuity or (2) to avoid those changes. Provides that a person who elects the first choice may have any future increases in income included as compensation and is entitled to certain healthcare benefits. Provides that a person who elects the second choice forgoes those benefits. Prohibits departments from offering to a person who elects the second choice any future increase in income in a form that would constitute compensation. Requires the System to provide information describing the consequences of making the election. Provides that, for an employee who first becomes a participant on or after the effective date of the amendatory Act, “compensation” does not include any payments for travel vouchers that are submitted late. Defines “future increase in income”, “Tier I employee”, and “Tier I retiree”. Amends the State Finance Act.

    To the list of standardized items of appropriation, adds “State retirement contribution for annual normal cost” and “State retirement contribution for unfunded accrued liability”. Defines those terms. Amends the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget Act. Adds those terms to a list of classifications to be used in statements and estimates of expenditures submitted to the Office in connection with the preparation of a State budget. Amends the Illinois State Auditing Act. Authorizes the Auditor General to contract with an enrolled actuary to serve as the State Actuary. Sets forth the duties of the State Actuary. Amends the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act and other Acts to make related changes. Includes an inseverability provision. Effective immediately.

    Makes technical changes. In the State Universities Article, provides that, beginning on the effective date, certain entities no long qualify as employers and certain persons no longer qualify as employees. Changes the manner in which the minimum required State contribution is certified. In the Downstate Teachers Article, specifies that certain employees will no longer qualify as teachers and prohibits new hires from using sick time to accrue service credit. Amends a Section of the State Universities Civil Service Act relating to powers of the Merit Board. Excludes the changes made by the amendatory Act from a provision relating to negotiation for compensation. Makes changes in a provision concerning severability and inseverability. Makes other changes.

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