Senate Democrats will try and pass a union-backed pension reform proposal that gives workers a choice in changes to their benefits.
Following a two-hour, closed-door meeting, the majority party decided to pursue the union-backed plan rather than act on legislation passed by the House last week.
“When this bill (Senate Bill 2404) is passed, the unions are not going to sue,” said Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago. “They agree on this bill as opposed to suing on the other bill that is under consideration. If that bill is declared unconstitutional, there is zero savings.”
Cullerton has insisted that giving workers a choice is essential to a pension reform bill being found constitutional.
The move sets up a potential impasse with the House, which passed a comprehensive pension reform plan last week. At the time, House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, said he didn’t think the Senate would come up with an alternative that would prompt House members to back away from the bill they had just passed.
Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, a leading pension reform expert, said any union-backed plan would have to achieve savings similar to the House-approved bill. More…