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Quick session day roundup

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

* A handful of the grand bargain bills passed today, including an appropriations bill, the gaming bill, a bill to give CPS its pension parity cash, a procurement reform bill and a local government consolidation bill. But the pension reform bill came up short and will have to be voted on again tomorrow. Another bill (click here for background) was pulled out of the record.

The tax hike is up tomorrow, which is the biggie.

* Sun-Times

Soon after, senators failed to pass the pension reform bill, once again, with a 26-27 vote. A motion to reconsider allows the bill to be called for a vote once again. On Feb. 8, the pension reform bill garnered just 18 votes — showing there’s a clear effort to garner the votes needed to pass the bill.

The bill would create savings by allowing public sector employees to choose whether their benefits are related to raises they may get or to annual cost of living adjustments to their pensions during retirement. It covers university employees, public school teachers, General Assembly members and Chicago teachers. Retirees and judges are not covered. And other state employees are currently not part of the plan because of ongoing legal action with their contract. It also eliminates the retirement system for future for future lawmakers.

“It’s just a matter of convincing people that it’s part of the grand bargain. If they are reluctant to vote for this individual bill, they should have gotten a broader view of it,” Cullerton said after session. “They all go down if this goes down.”

The Senate president blamed union opposition for some Democratic no votes. But he still posed some optimism about the package.

“People just have to understand this is the classic compromise. So you get as much as you can and you don’t overestimate how much you think you’re entitled to,” Cullerton said. “And that’s what we’re trying to do.”

* Illinois Policy Institute’s news service

Cullerton appealed for support on the pension bill.

“If you don’t like a bill that’s in the package, then vote ‘no.’ If you like a bill in the package, then vote ‘yes’. It’s not that complicated,” he said. “Sure, if one of them doesn’t pass then they all fail. You would win then, if that’s what you wanted to do.”

State Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, said before the session that the total package of bills isn’t a good deal for taxpayers.

“There’s too much increasing in taxes and not enough true reforms and spending cuts,” he said. “It’s important that we have enough spending cuts to say to the taxpayers of Illinois, ‘If we’re going to have to accept a tax increase, there’s a reasonable justification for it.”

More tomorrow.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Huh? - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 5:41 pm:

    “there’s a reasonable justification for it.”

    And $12 billion in unpaid bills isn’t reasonable justification?

  2. - Carharrt Union Negotiating Team - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 5:57 pm:

    “It’s important that we have enough spending cuts to say to the taxpayers of Illinois, ‘If we’re going to have to accept a tax increase, there’s a reasonable justification for it.”

    And if any proposal cut state spending in half, Oberweis would be quoted saying, “There’s simply no reason for a tax increase, we’ve proven we can slash state spending by 50%, and to raise taxes while government refuses to provide services isn’t justifiably reasonable.”

  3. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 6:06 pm:

    State Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, said before the session that the total package of bills isn’t a good deal for taxpayers. “There’s too much increasing in taxes and…. ”

    What has this guy been on?

    HIS Republican governor has done Nothing in 2 1/2 Years to mitigate the deepening financial hole HE And His failed Republican governor has gotten IL into. And he wants more cuts to the State with lowest per person State employee ratio.

    Yet he feels the need & has the time to waste to increase speed limits?

    Wow. It Is IL.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 6:10 pm:

    Jim Oberweis is exactly what he was before he won a senate seat;

    Oberweis is an irrational voice that rarely speaks to the realities, but continues to think his own realities speak to Illinois.

    Oberweis’ quotes are consistently mockable, as Jim Oberweis continues to see what he wants to see.

    Arguably the most consistently damaging “quote” for Republicans.

  5. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 6:42 pm:

    Where is this the outrage over the democrats voting for their own personal interests and the unions instead of their constituents on the pension bill?

  6. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 6:45 pm:

    Agreed. Not enough spending cuts. Too many taxes on the working poor and middle classes.

  7. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 6:51 pm:

    ===Where is this the outrage over the democrats voting for their own personal interests and the unions instead of their constituents on the pension bill?===

    Right there.

  8. - Tony - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 7:04 pm:

    Lucky - Union members are allowed and correctly expect to have representatives and senators the same as you regardless of party. Union members pay taxes and deserve to have their voices heard just like all other taxpayers. Union members are constituents just like their non union neighbors. Union members NEED to demand this and quit allowing the messaging to be one-sided against them. They do not give up their right to representation when they pay their dues and willfully elect to collectively barging for the rewards of their labor. They are citizens as well. Not a special interest and not a enemy of your so called taxpayer class. They have the tax documents to show they have always paid their share of all agreements.

  9. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 7:10 pm:

    Hey Jim, elect the representatives that support your position, or get on board so the state can pass a budget that can garner the votes with the reps we have now…now. Get it? We won’t have a budget until I get my way isn’t democracy.

  10. - Joe M - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 7:14 pm:

    ==The bill would create savings by allowing public sector employees to choose whether their benefits are related to raises they may get or to annual cost of living adjustments to their pensions during retirement. ==

    In reality, public sector employees get to choose whether their pensions get diminished by future raises no longer counting as pensionable income — or their pensions get diminished by lower cost of living adjustments once they retire. There, fixed it.

  11. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 7:26 pm:

    Joe, the bill will get struck down after passing into law. Don’t let that unconstitutional joke hold up the grand bargain. The ISC has our back.

  12. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 8:33 pm:

    =Not enough spending cuts.=

    They haven’t voted on a budget so how would you know.

    And that attitude is why nothing has gotten done. It’s called compromise. Some of you are waiting for the perfect and won’t support anything until you get it.

    Enough is enough. The fact that they got this far is a miracle. Let’s move on this for crying out loud.

  13. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 8:35 pm:

    LP our resident victim has spoken again. If I had a dollar for every time you posted a whine about the Democrats I could have donated enough money to solve our problems.

  14. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 8:48 pm:

    Demoralized. Sorry, I can’t compromise on taxing the working poor and middle classes yet again.

  15. - Just Me - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 8:55 pm:

    Senator Oberweiss: Please file your bill with your revenue cuts and we’ll put it up for a vote and see how it does.

  16. - Thoughts Matter - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 11:03 pm:

    In terms of the failed pension bill- I’m only a few years from retirement , in an political and economic climate that pretty much guarantees state employees won’t get much in the way of raises for those same few years. Why would I elect a lower AAI increase and a later start for it in return for having my non existing raises count toward my retirement? Maybe it’s a good deal for young folks - but I wasn’t born yesterday.

  17. - Steward As Well.... - Wednesday, Mar 1, 17 @ 6:29 am:

    On the pension bill. Umm….. I choose neither. There fixed.

  18. - NorthsideNoMore - Wednesday, Mar 1, 17 @ 7:27 am:

    Question If the state defaults on its $130 billion pensions debt what happens then? Does a federal judge determines what percentage of retirement retirees will get. 80 cents on the dollar? Type of thing just curious

  19. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 1, 17 @ 7:36 am:

    ==I can’t compromise on taxing==

    Then you aren’t interested in solving the problem. Taxes are going up. Anyone that doesn’t think they need to doesn’t understand the magnitude of the problem.

  20. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 1, 17 @ 7:36 am:

    And, yes, spending cuts will need to be part of the solution.

  21. - Smalls - Wednesday, Mar 1, 17 @ 8:16 am:

    Anybody know what the actual pension bill # was that was voted on yesterday? Can’t find it. Wanted to look at the roll call.

  22. - ryan - Wednesday, Mar 1, 17 @ 8:26 am:

    @Smalls - SB16

  23. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 1, 17 @ 8:45 am:

    Lucky Pierre - Maybe some of them refuse to vote for a bill they know is unconstitutional? I’m more concerned about the lack of outrage for votes FOR an unconstitutional bill.

    Of course there is always the chance they are voting for it knowing it will be struck down but at least it got a budget to go through finally, maybe that’s why there isn’t much outrage after all.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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