* Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) has a new pension reform bill that he says is constitutional. But there are some pretty darned controversial aspects to this bill, like making the income tax hike permanent, with some conditions. It also includes the so-called cost-shift language. While it doesn’t decrease retiree benefits, it does require a three percentage point increase in what employees put into the retirement fund.
From the synopsis…
Provides that, beginning in State fiscal year 2014, a member who is eligible for medicare shall pay the full premium amount for his or her healthcare coverage under the Act. Amends the Illinois Pension Code.
For the 5 State-funded retirement systems, incrementally increases employee contributions by a total of 3% of salary, imposes a minimum retirement age of 67 (or 62 with a discounted annuity), changes the funding goal from 90% to 80%, and changes the funding formula (beginning in FY2014, applies a 50-year amortization formula to reach an 80% funding ratio).
In the State Universities and Downstate Teacher Articles, shifts costs to local employers.
Amends the Illinois Income Tax Act. Makes the current tax rates permanent.
In any fiscal year in which the total State contribution to the State-funded retirement systems is less than the proceeds from the income tax increase and the debt service savings from the retirement of the 2010 and 2011 Pension Obligation Notes, grants a refundable income tax credit equal to the difference.
* BlueRoomStream.com is covering the press conference. From its Twitter feed…