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Quinn Signs Pension Reform Bill

UPDATED December 5, 4:46 p.m.
A pension reform bill is now signed into law. Gov. Pat Quinn took action in a closed-door ceremony at his Chicago office this afternoon.

Quinn has made it a habit lately to sign major bills--like the same-sex marriage bill--in large ceremonies in front of crowds of dozens to hundreds.

According to House Speaker Mike Madigan's office, the bill was just sent to Quinn's office today, and the governor apparently wasted no time in putting his signature on it--with no television cameras invited.

Now the question is whether the law is constitutional. That question will likely be taken up by the Illinois Supreme Court.

Sen. Andy Manar voted "no" on the bill, and believes the court will strike it down.

"I think there's going to be immediate uncertainty injected further into our processes," Manar said. "And I think at the end of the day, we're going to be back at square one, and we will have spent a lot of money to get there."

The We Are One Coalition, which represents multiple state union employees, including teachers, issued a response today. They said, "Senate Bill 1 is attempted pension theft, and it's illegal," and that "contrary to [Quinn's] belief, every Illinois citizen loses today."

The coalition said they have been in regular contact with their attorneys, and, today, directed them to prepare to file a lawsuit.

Quinn also released a joint statement with the four legislative leaders, praising the bill. Quinn said, "This is a serious solution to address the most dire fiscal challenge of our time."

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin added, "With today's bill signing, we have staved off a greater crisis."

Statement from Quinn's office
Statement from We Are One Illinois
UPDATED December 5, 2:58 p.m.
After months of debate, pension reform is now law in Illinois. Gov. Pat Quinn quietly signed the measure today in his Chicago office.

The bill, SB1, was passed by both the House and Senate Tuesday. It raises retirement ages for those under 45, asks employees to contribute 1 percent less each year, and replaces the current 3 percent cost of living adjustment with a formula based on the full consumer price index.

Estimates show it will save the state more than $160 billion over the course of 30 years.

Labor unions say the plan is unconstitutional, and they plan to sue.

Statement from Quinn's office
Statement from We Are One Illinois

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