Monday, Mar 30, 2015
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Recent Comments

QuincyGuy - New jail or no new jail? - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
You can pay some now or you can pay MORE later. Kicking the can down the road is what got the jail in the shape it's in now. Kicking the can down the road Is what got the school buildings in that shape. Kicking the can down the road Is what got Illinois in the shape it is now. Someone needs to "suck it up and accept the fact that the problem needs to be fixed now, not down the road". We need…
migraine_in_qcy - Child shot and killed in Quincy - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
There are plenty of white kids east of 18th, and plenty of them are little thieves, vandals and druggies. I don't see how it would matter in what part of town this happened or what color of skin the victim has.
SilenceDogood22 - New jail or no new jail? - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
It is clearly an opinion piece. I'm not bashing QJ for publishing this as news, I think there are people who will read this and take it as news, since it's posted on a news site (even though it's under the opinion page). Most people won't take the time to discern. I would honestly like to see a local journalist do some good solid research (investigative journalism) on this topic…
GuyFawkes10 - New jail or no new jail? - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
How did a response that I did not type end up in my post? Is this a new feature. I actually was defending you by making the point that it was not a news story. I hoped that Silence would have come to that conclusion after I asked question.
whhm - Child shot and killed in Quincy - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
There are too many kids in our society in general being ignored, unsupervised, or otherwise neglected. Whether because of broken families, no father figures or other positive influences, working single parents who don't have the time (or don't make the time), being raised by grandparents who don't have the energy, etc., these kids are left to their own devices when it comes to school…

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Illinois lawmakers propose fix to pension overhaul

10 months, 3 weeks ago by The Associated Press

Would take a year of benefits away from university employees

The Illinois Legislature is considering fixing a portion of a statewide pension overhaul that unwittingly takes a year of benefits away from university employees.

Higher education officials say a mistake in the legislation passed by lawmakers in December is causing hundreds of public-university employees to retire or consider retirement earlier than anticipated.

The pension-reform bill signed into law last year currently calculates a retiring university employee's benefits as of last year instead of this year.

State Rep. Chad Hays, a Catlin Republican, filed one of two pieces of legislation this week that would change the language. Hay's bill would base benefits on retirement as of June 30 instead of in 2013.

Hays' district includes part of the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus.

"My goal is to be sure that we do not cause a stampede toward the door because the legislative intent of the original bill is wrong," Hays said. "My bill I believe is a very minor technical correction."

A second piece of legislation was filed by state Sen. Chapin Rose on Thursday. The amendment to an existing Senate bill is co-sponsored by Christine Radogno, a Republican from Lemont.

"This is an opportunity to fix that (mistake) and fix it quickly," said her spokeswoman, Patty Schuh, adding that the amendment might be able to be moved along more quickly than a new bill.

A minor correction is how university administrators who are seeking the change billed it when they first discussed it publicly last month, literally just a few words in the pension law.

But lawmakers including state Sen. Daniel Biss, who co-sponsored the pension-reform legislation, have expressed concern that making the change might not be so simple. The pension reform law was difficult to pass, leading to potential reluctance to re-open it, Biss has said.

On Friday he said he's optimistic.

"We still need to go and get the process moving and get a bill through," Biss said.

In a letter Thursday to the State Universities Retirement System, which is also pushing for the change, House Speaker Michael Madigan said he "supports efforts to correct the technical error."

Spokesmen for the University of Illinois and Northern Illinois University said the schools have been working with lawmakers and hope to see the change made soon.

University of Illinois spokesman Tom Hardy pointed out that the General Assembly adjourns later this month, meaning that the change will have to happen soon since the pension law takes effect on June 1.

"With less than a month left in the legislative session and the academic year winding down, every public university and community college in Illinois needs it A.S.A.P.," Hardy said in an email.

Illinois' public-retirement systems had $100 billion in pension liabilities they couldn't pay for when the General Assembly passed the pension reform measure in December. The law would save an estimated $145 billion, largely by cutting benefits for employees and retirees.

The law has since been challenged in court, including a motion filed Friday by a group representing public university employees and retirees asking that the pension law be set aside until its constitutionality is determined.

Even before the glitch in the language of the bill was revealed, universities were already worried about large-scale departures of employees who would lose benefits if they didn't leave by June 30.

More than 1,500 public university employees have already filed paperwork to retire by June, up from about 600 during the same period last year, according to SURS.


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