Sunday, Mar 29, 2015
Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Trending on the Journal

Recent Comments

jnalse87 - Child shot and killed in Quincy - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Why does that matter? If you paid attention to any of the news articles your ignorant a$$ would know his father lives out of state. Jesus Christ you people are something else... SMH!!!
WarCry - Child shot and killed in Quincy - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
My father was an over-the-road truck driver and my mom tended bar when I was a kid. You have any other smart-ass, unintelligent questions like this?
QuincyGuy - Reward now offered for info on shooting of Quincy 12 yr old - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
It is sad that the young man lost his life. It really is tragic. When most of us older folks were that age, we lost friends too in tragic accidents. Some were killed in wars. That was tragic too but we worked it out 'between each of us' without a team of doctors, councillors and social workers. It prepared us for the future where there won't be this team every time something bad happens.…
WarCry - Child shot and killed in Quincy - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
What difference does that make? Single parents don't count for you when it comes to grief over the loss of a child?
migraine_in_qcy - Child shot and killed in Quincy - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Because, CW, random shootings are very rare in Quincy. I've been living in the area all my life, and I can't name a single murder that was without cause. Whether love triangle, workplace violence, drug deal gone bad - there's always been a reason. People are dancing around this, but the assumption is that this 12-year old wasn't just randomly gunned down, but that he was part of…

Most Popular

12 yr old boy shot and killed Sat morning Updated

Quincy Meth Bust on N 10th

Tracy vs Sullivan in 2016?

Hannibal residents fight back

Moore on new Jail: “My support is as a taxpayer”

Wagner and Griggs capture state title

Schock says he leaves Congress with sadness, humility

Parents want ability to opt kids out of state tests

Illinois Lawmakers begin defining parameters of pension fix

2 years ago By Benjamin Yount, Illinois Watchdog

A final pension reform law is a long way off, and roadblocks still exist, but Illinois’ path to controlling its $130 billion pension debt is becoming clearer

 

SPRINGFIELD — A final pension reform law is a long way off, and roadblocks still exist, but Illinois’ path to controlling its $130 billion pension debt is becoming clearer.

The Illinois House last week approved measures to cap the salary — $113,000 — on which a pension can be based, and to steadily raise the retirement age — to 67 for some public employees.

More important, according to state Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrooke, lawmakers are finally showing their cards in regard to what they will and will not support.

“This process is highlighting and narrowing the kinds of things we can consider as part of a comprehensive package,” Nekritz said Thursday.

Illinois lawmakers have long talked about the need for pension reform, but until this spring rank and file legislators have taken few votes on the issue.

Nekritz said the approach “where leaders come together with a solution” and hand it off to lawmakers has produced nothing.

“It really is important that we try and do something different, and find out what members will support,” Nekritz said.

Lawmakers have supported limits on the amount public workers will earn with their pensions and generally support the idea that public employees will have to pay more for their retirement benefits.

But the Illinois House has voted down a plan that would freeze or eliminate cost-of-living adjustments for pensioners as well as proposals that would have had teachers, university workers, prison guards and state troopers pay 4 percent more toward their retirements.

Each plan has gotten its own vote over the past few weeks. Powerful Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan has said he orchestrated the votes to “educate” lawmakers on the complexity of pension reform.

House Republican Leader Tom Cross has been critical of the process.

This is legislating by multiple choice,” Cross announced on the House floor Thursday.

Cross’ Republican caucus boycotted many of the pension votes out of anger over “politics,” the GOP leader has said.

“Many of these people have never been pinned down on these issues before,” said University of Illinois at Springfield political science professor Chris Mooney. “That’s why you see so many votes.”

Mooney said lawmakers are being tested.

“If you won’t support a 3 percent pension increase, what about 2 percent? What about COLA’s?”

Nekritz said the goal is a “comprehensive package” on pension reform, and not a hodge-podge of ideas.

The comprehensive plan Nekritz and Cross — along with state Sen. Dan Biss, D-Evanston — are shepherding through the Capitol passed a statehouse committee Thursday. It could come before the House any day.

But while the House is acting on pension reform, the Illinois Senate is moving ahead with a number of different yet sweeping proposals.

A proposal from Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, giving public employees a choice between higher pension contributions or lower benefit levels, passed a Senate panel Wednesday.

Cullerton insists the choice component of his plan is the only way Illinois can reform its five pension systems and not run afoul of constitutional protections.

John Cameron is legislative director for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. Any pension reform that lacks union blessings would be unconstitutional, he says.

“We believe that the best approach to get to constitutionality is by negotiating,.” Cameron said. “Taking another approach than imposing reductions.”

But lawmakers in both the House and the Senate do not appear willing to bargain over pension reform.

Mooney thinks pension reform will have to be hammered out — one piece and one vote at a time.

“Maybe the bargaining lawmakers did in the backroom for years is finally being done out in public.”


From the Newsroom

QuincyJournal on Twitter

QuincyJournal 5 hours, 24 minutes ago

Diet sodas fall in US; Pepsi takes back No. 2 spot http://t.co/i54OzErsIl
QuincyJournal on Twitter

QuincyJournal 8 hours, 27 minutes ago

Reward now offered for info on shooting of Quincy 12 yr old - $1,000 for information on early Saturday murder http://t.co/VChRqmCiFk
QuincyJournal on Twitter

QuincyJournal 8 hours, 27 minutes ago

Rauner's 'right-to-work' proposal focus of larger debate on business climate http://t.co/z6uSytNqED
QuincyJournal on Twitter

QuincyJournal 9 hours, 26 minutes ago

Exelon makes a play for green money - Nation’s biggest nuclear firm wants in on carbon-free energy market http://t.co/XmmkNDrt6W