House Rejects Pension Cuts for Lawmakers Only

By Rachel Otwell, with additional reporting from The Associated Press

A measure to cut Illinois legislative pensions has fizzled out.

The Illinois House approved an amendment that would have reduced benefits for current lawmakers and ended pensions for future lawmakers.

But the amendment got only 54 votes -- not enough to pass a bill -- so the sponsor didn't bother trying to get the full bill approved.

Republican Darlene Senger from Naperville called proposal disingenuous.

"I am not going to vote for this, I think it's a farce," she said. "I think we're basically coming out and saying we're doing something and we're absolutely not, and it's a real disservice for those who live in this state."

Negotiations to include state employees, teachers, university workers and judges in a pension overhaul failed to produce an agreement.

The proposed measure would give current legislators a choice of smaller growth in their pension checks or losing their free health insurance. Future lawmakers would not get any state retirement benefits at all.

This means Friday's special session on pensions didn't produce anything.

When it became clear no major action was possible, Democrats proposed cutting legislative pensions. They said it would show they're willing to share the pain they're asking of other public employees.

But Republicans blasted it as a stunt to provide political cover for a failed session.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio