* I told subscribers this morning that no House Republicans were willing as of last night to put votes on Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle’s pension reform bill. No pension reforms have ever passed the House without at least a couple dozen GOP votes. So, big trouble.
Greg Hinz reached out to Leader Jim Durkin today…
“A number of our members continue to express concerns because this bill does not go far enough to achieve meaningful benefit reform — and worse, seemingly relies heavily upon increases in residential and commercial property taxes,” Mr. Durkin said in a statement.
In particular, he added, Ms. Preckwinkle’s bill provides more generous annual cost-of-living adjustments in pension payments than does the city bill, guaranteeing at least 2 percent a year, compounded, and potentially as much as 4 percent, as opposed to half of inflation, simple, with a 3 percent cap. “This bill does not match the structural changes previously enacted by the General Assembly. Furthermore, the business community has not weighed in on this bill as they previously have with the other state pension reform and Chicago pension reform bills,” he said. […]
And, for the record, both Mr. Durkin and other Republicans are denying that GOP gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner is behind the opposition. Mr. Rauner wants to completely abolish defined-benefit government pensions, moving to a 401(k)-style system
I talked with a labor lobbyist not long ago who said the union is holding their “No” votes so far, but that the situation remains “fluid.” If the GOPs stay off, President Preckwinkle has real problems with this legislation.