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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Lack Of 'Big Agreement' Delays Pension Reform Bills


Springfield may be a desert when it comes to budget deals, but it seemed like there was a small oasis: an agreement between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic Senate President John Cullerton on pensions.

They say Illinois could save a billion dollars a year by forcing teachers and state workers to make a choice. Either retire on a higher pensionable salary, or be allowed to receive compounded cost-of-living bumps upon retirement.

During his budget address last week, though, Rauner signaled impatience:

"We'll support whatever language President Cullerton wants to use, whatever language he wants to use. Unfortunately, as of today, no bill has even been introduced. Now is the time to set politics aside and do what is right for taxpayers. No more delays, no more stalling.”

Cullerton responded, "I told him I appreciated his support, but I also told him it would be very difficult to pass the bill in the absence of a big agreement."

Cullerton says he recently met with Rauner about pensions, and told him that's why there's no bill yet.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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