* It’s either a poison pill, as the Sun-Times says, or a way to make the Senate’s pension reform bill save more money. We will soon find out…
The plan that advanced in the Senate coincides with possible movement on another pension issue in the House, where Madigan has scheduled a hearing Thursday to craft legislation to make downstate and suburban school districts shoulder the state’s cost of funding pensions for educators in their school systems.
The idea to end what Madigan has derided as a “free lunch” for those districts has faced resistance from Republicans and suburban and Downstate Democrats, who worry the pension cost shift from the state could result in higher property taxes.
On Wednesday, Madigan predicted that his chamber will “get the job done” on the cost shift.
Since Cullerton’s plan can be tweaked in the House, there is potential it could merely be a poison pill that could be added as an amendment to help quash the Senate president’s plan in Madigan’s chamber. A defeat like that would leave the Madigan pension-reform version as the only game in town as a scheduled May 31 legislative adjournment looms.
Asked if he intended to move the cost shift as its own piece of legislation or tack it on an existing bill like the Cullerton one, Madigan told the Chicago Sun-Times, “We’ll get to that later.”
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