Governor Amps Up Pressure to Overhaul Pensions

August 06, 2012

Gov. Pat Quinn is warning of dire financial consequences for school districts unless lawmakers overhaul Illinois' pension systems.

The Chicago Democrat supports a plan to make suburban and downstate school districts pay their own retirement costs, which the state currently pays.

Republicans have objected and claim it'll burden schools and increase property taxes.

Quinn's office released figures yesterday, claiming Illinois' unfunded liability is increasing so fast that it'll cost school districts more in the long run because lawmakers will have to slash education funding.

Quinn's office estimates that under the shift plan schools would pay $49 million in new pension costs for the 2014 fiscal year. Without reforms, those same districts would see their budgets slashed by $152 million.

He's called an Aug. 17 special session to deal with pensions.

Story source: AP

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