News Local/State

Pension Panel Could Be Nearing Agreement


Legislators writing an overhaul of the state's pension systems could be nearing the end of their work. 

Feedback's been plentiful since late last month, when a draft of a pension plan drawn up by a bipartisan legislative committee was leaked. Unions hate it, saying it overreaches in cutting retirement benefits.

Meanwhile, business groups say it does not go far enough to save the state money. Not to mention complaints, including from the governor, that the committee is taking too long.

Now a key member of the panel is responding.

In a statement, Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) said the leaked plan is not the final version. He said "our conversations remain in a state of flux" but adds he is hopeful the committee is entering "the late stages" of deliberations.

Biss encourages more feedback on the leaked plan. Under it, state employees', teachers' and public university workers' pensions would still get cost-of-living increases, but instead of going up 3-percent automatically each year, it'd be a fraction of the consumer price index.

Employees would also have less taken out of every paycheck for pensions.