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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Pension Plan Goes to Gov. Quinn

UPDATED December 3, 5:00 p.m.
Lawmakers in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly have passed a new pension measure aimed at reforming the nation's most underfunded pension system.

They were tight votes, with many of those who rose to speak offering praise.

Speaker Michael Madigan introduced the plan in the House. It would raise retirement ages for those under 45, ask employees to contribute 1 percent less each year, and replace the current 3 percent cost of living adjustment with a formula based on the full consumer price index. That would give the biggest annual adjustments to employees with the lowest salaries and longest tenures.

Madigan estimates it would save the state more than $160 billion over the course of 30 years.

"This is not a one-sided bill," Madigan said. "There will be changes here. Much-needed changes. But this bill is a well-thought-out, well-balanced bill."

Madigan also placed the blame for most of the current unfunded liability on the current 3 percent COLA, saying it was simply too rich for the state to afford.

Madigan also praised the work of those on the conference committee, including Republicans who he said stood their ground for meaningful legislation.

The House passed the measure with 62 "yes" votes--two more than necessary. In the Senate, it received 30, the minimum for passage.

All local lawmakers voted "no" on the measure.

Click here to see how your senator voted.
Click here to see how your representative voted.
Click here for a summary of the plan.
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UPDATED December 3, 4:36 p.m.
Both the Illinois Senate and House have passed a $160 billion pension reform plan. The bill now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn.

Click here to see how your senator voted.
Click here to see how your representative voted.
Click here for a summary of the plan.
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UPDATED December 3, 4:30 p.m.
The Senate has passed the $160 billion pension reform plan. The House is still considering the proposal.
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UPDATED December 3, 1:59 p.m.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The Illinois House has started debating a major overhaul aimed at addressing Illinois' $100 billion pension crisis.

The measure is estimated to save roughly $160 billion over three decades.  House Speaker Michael Madigan opened floor debate Tuesday afternoon.

Illinois has the nation's worst-funded state pension systems.

Legislative leaders announced the agreement last week. The bill would cut benefits for workers and retirees and raise the retirement age. It's opposed by labor unions, who say it's unfair and unconstitutional.

Union members have protested the measure saying it's unfair to retirees.
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UPDATED December 3, 11:00 a.m.

It could be a historic day in Illinois, as lawmakers are set to vote on a new measure aimed at solving the state's worst-in-the-nation pension crisis. It now stands at $100 billion. Both chambers are expected to address the matter this morning.

The pension conference committee held a hearing on the plan earlier today. Several lawmakers, business leaders, and representatives for the governor's office thanked the committee for their hard work. Opponents, including several unions, testified that the plan is unconstitutional and represents theft.

The bill itself would replace the current 3 percent cost of living adjustment. That would mean higher relative adjustments for the lowest-paid employees with the longest tenures.

Those who haven't retired yet would face multiple years where the adjustment is skipped.

Retirement ages for those under 45 would also increase on a graduated scale, and employees would pay 1 percent less into the system.

Pension matters would be removed from the collective bargaining process, except for issues related to what part employers pay.

The plan itself is contained in the conference committee's report. Because lawmakers will be voting on the report, both chambers can take the bill up at the same time. It's likely that both parties in both chambers will adjourn to caucus, and meet among themselves for voting. That could mean anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours.

 
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