Ill. Democrats Moving Budget that Shorts Pensions
NOTE: Updated to include Rutherford statement.
An Illinois budget that would shortchange troubled pension systems and give the governor new power over spending has passed the state Senate.
It was approved 31-26 early Friday and now goes to the House, which is considering a similar plan.
Troubled pension systems would have to wait another six months to get the $3.7 billion the state owes. Pension officials call that a serious blow.
State Senator Dan Rutherford of Chenoa opposed the budget plan.
"Once again the majority of the Illinois Senate has agreed to kick the can down the road", said Rutherford in a news release, "through a grand borrowing scheme, extension of payment delays and once again skipping pension payments. It is unfortunate that Senators only had one hour to view a 2,200 page document that contains the budget. Clearly there is a lack of transparency with this budgetary process."
The budget contains huge lump sums. Gov. Pat Quinn will decide how that money is spent.