Rutherford cautiously optimistic about House pension plan

By WEEK Reporter

March 25, 2013 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 1:20 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- An Illinois House plan to dig the state out of its $97 billion pension problem is now in the hands of the Senate.

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford says he's cautiously optimistic it will get support.

While the progress is positive, Rutherford would rather see a comprehensive pension reform package, instead of passing individuals bills.

The House's plan would limit annual cost-of-living increases for state retirees, except judges.

Rutherford says that's a basic concept he would like to see, as well as health care payments based on need.

"Meaning if you have a lower pension maybe you do have health care paid for. But if you're a six figure university professor retiree, maybe you shouldn't get 100% of your health care paid for," Rutherford said.

The House plan could save $100 million. Lawmakers have until the end of May to find a pension solution.

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