Illinois Senate passes pension reform bill

By WEEK Producer

March 20, 2013 Updated Mar 20, 2013 at 10:51 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The Illinois Senate has passed a bill on pension reform, specifically reform of the teacher's pension system.

Senate President John Cullerton's bill gives employees a choice of accepting lower, delayed cost-of-living adjustments or declining certain health care benefits and increases in salary.

Cullerton says it will save the state $18 billion over the next 30 years.

"Some will argue the legislative measures before us are too harsh, others insist they don't do enough. But we've reached a crossroads. We had enough debate on these issues," said Sen. Cullerton.

"Retirees in one group, being teachers, being differently than retirees in another group raises an equal protection issue that would be problematic," said Sen. Matt Murphy, (D) Palatine.

Senator Cullerton also introduced an outline to reform the other four public pension systems. It increases the retirement age and employee contributions.

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