Chicago pension bill moves to Governor’s desk

From Illinois News Network

A measure that changes the payment schedule for Chicago’s police and firefighter pension funds is on it’s way to Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk.

Senate Bill 777 passed the House Saturday and was brought up for concurrence in the Senate Sunday, the final day for simple majorities to pass legislation. During debate Senator Daniel Biss supported the measure saying the measure is an effort to do three things to ease Chicago’s pension crisis.

“Have a rational defensible funding schedule that does put you on a path to solvency, immediately begin increasing your payments in a serious meaningful way and have a strong meaningful funding guarantee or intercept to ensure the payments will be made.”

But Republican Senator Matt Murphy quickly knocked Biss’ support because Biss also supported the recent pension reform measure struck down by the state Supreme Court. Murphy said a pension holiday is no vacation.

“This is serious and they need to start taking it seriously in Chicago otherwise they’re going to be in a situation where bankruptcy does become real for these funds and maybe beyond.”

Murphy says Chicago’s pensions are underfunded already and continued delay in appropriate funding will be devastating.

The measure passed on a concurrence vote 38 to 20 and now heads to the Governor’s desk.

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