Tri States Public Radio Staff
Cynicism Surrounds Project
Tue June 25, 2013
Tracy Ready to Work on Pensions
State Representative Jil Tracy (R- Quincy) is calling the pension reform conference committee formed by the Illinois General Assembly's special session "a last ditch effort."
Tracy, one of four Republicans on the committee, said the situation has been made worse by the legislature not addressing the problem earlier.
Critics have questioned whether the committee has any greater chance at producing an agreement than regular negotiations between legislative leaders.
Tracy said that at this point, it’s worth a shot.
"I understand the cynicism, however we're growing at 17 million dollars a day. We have the largest unfunded pension, 100 billion dollars unfunded liability, it's going to crash at some point in time and fail the people that are going to need it," Tracy said.
Tracy added that the unfunded pension liability eats into other areas of the state budget and “strangles” the state’s ability to borrow money.
The general assembly adjourned after lawmakers couldn't agree on two rival plans, one backed by House Speaker Michael Madigan and the other by Senate President John Cullerton.
Madigan's plan saves more money but since it unilaterally cuts public employee's benefits, there have been some like State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville )who called it "blatantly unconstitutional."
Lawmakers set a deadline of July 9th for the committee to agree on a plan.
Pension Issue Needs Resolution
Backs Senate Version over House Plan
Bill Knight – March 21