CHICAGO Nov 25 The Illinois House of
Representatives will hold a one-day session on Dec. 3 to take up
changes to the state's woefully underfunded public pensions, a
spokesman for Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan said on
The Illinois Senate has not yet made clear its plans, but a
spokesman for Senate President John Cullerton told Reuters in an
email that discussions involving a potential change to
cost-of-living increases to pensions for retired state workers
Ron Holmes, a spokesman for Senate President John Cullerton,
said that there is no deal on pension reform "at this point,"
but he added that a meeting of legislative leaders on Tuesday
"should prove further clarity on the schedule."
He also said that negotiations are focused on adjustments to
retiree cost-of-living adjustments proposed by Senate Republican
Leader Christine Radogno.
Steve Brown, the spokesman for the House Speaker, declined
to provide details on the changes that may be proposed at the
Dec. 3 session, which is scheduled for one day. Brown said the
legislation is still being developed.
The state's legislative leaders have been seeking ways to
boost a projected 30-year savings to $150 billion, up from about
$138 billion eyed by a special legislative panel on pensions
created in June.
Negotiations have centered on savings that could be achieved
through changes to the current 3 percent compounded
cost-of-living adjustments for retirees. One proposal would
limit such adjustments to half the annual inflation rate, with
some compounding of payment increases.
However, reforms aimed at reducing Illinois' $100 billion
unfunded pension liability have remained elusive. The
legislature ended its regular spring and fall sessions without
passing a fix.
Madigan and Cullerton have backed competing reform
proposals, with Madigan's plan taking a more aggressive approach
to cost reductions.
Continued inaction on dealing with a pension problem that is
squeezing out funding for core services such as education has
led to credit downgrades that have left Illinois with the lowest
credit ratings among U.S. states.