Illinois lawmakers in the Democrat-dominated state legislature have adopted a pension reform plan based on Republican ideas, after years of dithering and delay.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the deal will raise the retirement age for state employees, trim cost-of-living adjustments, and create an optional 401(k)-style plan that has defined contributions instead of defined benefits. A vote on the deal is expected next week.
Illinois has one of the most underfunded pension systems in the nation. Failure to deal with the problem has led the state’s credit rating to be downgraded repeatedly, to near-junk status.
Gov. Pat Quinn, who applauded the deal, suspended the legislators’ pay earlier this year to punish them for failing to find a solution to the problem.
State Senate GOP leader Christine Radogno is being credited with the structure of the final deal.