Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Pension Reform Commission

From the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability

This morning, the IL Pension Conference Committee, the 10-member legislative group charged with forging a compromise solution to pension problems, will hold its second hearing because the General Assembly was unable to resolve differences between Senate Bill 1 backed by House Speaker Michael Madigan, and Senate Bill 2404, supported by Senate President John Cullerton.

CTBA's Executive Director Ralph Martire will testify on, among other things, CTBA's proposed solution to amortize the debt owed to the retirement systems (the unfunded liabilities) to create a feasible repayment schedule.

The Governor plans to call another session of the General Assembly on July 9 to pass legislation. Political paralysis over fixing state retirement system funding has led to a series of credit downgrades for Illinois.

Amanda Kass, who heads CTBA's Illinois Retirement Security Initiative (IRSI), says the hearing will be video streamed by Blueroomstream. You should be able to watch by using this link: Click Here.

Amanda says video coverage of the first Conference Committee hearing, which took place on June 27, is also available on Blueroomstream's website: Click Here.

At that hearing, Democratic State Representative Lou Lang told the committee members that they needed to consider ways to increase revenue to reduce the pension liabilities, such as preventing the personal income tax rate from dropping below 5 percent as it is scheduled to do in 2015. "We have a crisis. We have to find the dollars available to pay for that crisis," Rep. Lang said.

At the first Conference Committee hearing the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) testified about the causes of the state's unfunded liabilities. Their testimony is available here: Click Here.

Illinois Channel cable television has covered much of the recent pension debate, and its YouTube channel contains a wealth of videos from legislative sessions and interviews with lawmakers: Click Here.

Please let me know your reaction to the hearing, Ralph's testimony and/or other pension issues.

[Please also review]
12 pragmatic and legal reasons to reject Illinois pension reform


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