An Illinois House committee on Tuesday passed a plan unveiled to start chipping away at the state's huge pension debt.
The committee voted 6-3 to send the proposal to the House before Thursday's adjournment deadline.
The plan is very similar to what Quinn proposed last month to help control the state's massive pension problem, but with a couple key differences. One of the big ones: It will not push the retirement age for state workers to 67.
Illinois' pension deficit comes in at either the worst or the second-worst in the country, and Gov. Pat Quinn calls it a major issue that can't wait any longer to fix.
“We have to get a lot of things done for the people,” Quinn said Monday at a Memorial Day parade in Park Ridge.
Lawmakers' proposed core plan would scale back, for example, the automatic 3 percent cost-of-living increases for retirees.
"If we duck this punch now, I really fear one day there going to have people getting an "IOU" in the mail instead of a check," said Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine).
As part of the proposed plan, if state employees choose to keep the 3 percent increase, they would lose access to the state health care plan.
“Who in the rest of the state gets health care for life? No one gets that," said Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Mt. Prospect). "That’s a sweetheart deal. … We need to end that.”
Labor unions call the plan unconstitutional, and if it becomes law, a long court battle is expected.