* Hannah Meisel with the scoop…
The Illinois Municipal League told its members Tuesday morning it may no longer be in support of a bill that would partially consolidate 649 downstate and suburban police and firefighter pension funds — a bill it helped to write — because of a provision inserted into the bill on Monday.
An amendment to SB 1300 filed Monday reflects an agreement made with the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police late Friday, which should have sealed the deal on the bill — one Gov. JB Pritzker indicated was his number one priority for Veto Session.
But in a memo sent to its members Tuesday morning, the Illinois Municipal League said the amendment, filed by State Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) would make it easier for police officers and firefighters to claim disability, which could add extra burdens to municipalities’ budgets if it were abused.
The amendment includes a provision that league officials said would change the longstanding practice of allowing municipalities to intervene if it believes a police officer or firefighter’s claim for permanent disability and pension payouts is invalid or deficient.
Instead, league officials said the new language introduced Monday would not allow for any review by the municipality, and the exclusive power to grant disability claims would lie with the local pension boards.
* From an IML press release…
SB 1300 has now strayed from solely addressing pension investment reforms and seriously jeopardizes IML’s ability to work in good faith with other involved entities. […]
At this critical point in the process, IML is actively seeking to correct the overreaches put forward in the new proposed legislation. If IML is unable to refocus the General Assembly on the primary issue of protecting taxpayer funds through the elimination of duplicative fund administration and burdensome, costly mandates, all of which would be addressed through common sense solutions involving consolidation, it is unknown how things will end this week or if a beneficial resolution will develop.
I’m told a lot of mayors are hopping mad about this. I’m also told to expect a response soon from the governor’s office, which negotiated the language with the coppers.
…Adding… Rep. Hoffman says he wasn’t in the meeting when the language was changed and said he’s trying to fix the problem today.