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January 6, 2013
The devil and his handmaiden. Democrats Madigan and Nekritz.
SPRINGFIELD — State Rep. Elaine Nekritz said Sunday she believes there is still time to get a pension deal done before a Wednesday deadline, and a hearing on one proposal she agreed to with House Republican Leader Tom Cross is set for Monday.
“I certainly, to my core, hope for a resolution to this,” Nekritz said. “As much as anybody, I hope to move on to different issues than this.”
Though a plan that would cut teachers’ and state workers’ retirement benefits is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before lawmakers Monday, the proposal could change before it’s final.
“There is enough time to get it done,” Nekritz said.
Supporters of cutting benefits are trying to hustle because when the next legislature featuring about three dozen new lawmakers is sworn in Jan. 9, all legislation resets and supporters have to start over.
But even if the Illinois House approves the legislation Monday, the Illinois Senate still hasn’t even committed to being in Springfield Tuesday.
It would, among other things, prevent retired teachers and state workers from getting yearly benefit increases until they turn 67 years old, and those increases would be less generous than they are now.
In addition, workers would have to eventually pay 2 percentage points more of their paychecks toward their own retirements, and the state would make a legal guarantee to pay its share every year, too.
As Gov. Pat Quinn has touted starting in DuPage County last week, local school districts wouldn’t have to pick up any more of teachers’ pension costs.