The Illinois House is poised to vote Thursday, May 2, on an overhaul of the state's pension systems. It would reduce state workers', teachers', and university employees' future retirement benefits.
The plan easily advanced out of a House committee Wednesday, and there is a feeling in the capitol that after countless attempts to reduce the state's pension debt, this might be the plan that does the trick.
Insiders say it's significant that the plan is sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), who rarely takes action without having support locked up.
Bushnell-Prairie City School Superintendent David Messersmith will retire a year earlier than he wanted.
Other educators around the region are facing similar decisions.
He reconsidered his plans once Governor Pat Quinn proposed a number of changes to state pensions plans including reducing benefits for retirees. Messersmith hopes to “lock-in” his benefits under the current pension rules. He thinks the state will suffer a “brain drain” as other educators come to the same conclusion.