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Illinois Legislative Leaders Say They've Reached a Pension Deal

Special session already scheduled for next Tuesday
WTVO/WQRF -- A number of sources are reporting that a pension deal between leaders of the Illinois House and Senate has been reached, and that details will be announced once legislators have been notified.

House Speaker Mike Madigan tells WLS-TV he personally helped broker a deal between Senate President John Cullerton and Republican leaders.

A special session has already been scheduled for next Tuesday.

The 'We Are One' coalition representing various public employee unions issued the following statement.

“Unions representing hundreds of thousands of public employees and retirees were not included in the leaders’ talks. If their new plan is in line with what’s been reported from earlier discussions, then it’s an unfair, unconstitutional scheme that undermines retirement security."

"It’s no compromise at all with those who earned and paid for their retirement benefits. In fact, reports suggest the leaders have repackaged Senate Bill 1 and barely bothered to disguise it. On top of this, by expanding 401(k) plans, the leaders will further jeopardize retirement security for the vast majority of public employees and retirees who are not eligible for Social Security."

“If their bill resembles SB 1, we will urge lawmakers to reject it and continue to fight to protect the hard-earned life-savings of Illinois public servants as well as the sanctity of the state’s constitution.”

'We Are One' has already pledged to sue no matter what the reform, claiming it would be unconstitutional.  Unions also wield tremendous political clout, especially with Democratic Party lawmakers who control the House and Senate.

Legislators are under heavy pressure to do something, however, because of how mounting pension obligations are crushing the state budget, forcing deep cuts in other areas including education.
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