“SPRINGFIELD-Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's pension-reform package passed the state Senate Tuesday despite opposition from some public-employee unions that contended her plan is unconstitutional.
“The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, passed by a 36-16 vote and now moves to the House, but its lightning quick progression through the Senate came without clarity on how exactly the county intends to pay for Preckwinkle's plan…
“‘For many current workers, in particular, this is significantly even more draconian than the reductions they would have seen in the city bill or under SB1,’ AFSCME political director John Cameron said, referring to pending city pension legislation awaiting Quinn's signature and a pension law for state employees and retirees that is now being challenged in court.
“‘This is not an imminent crisis that has to be resolved in the next four days by this body,’ he said. “We particularly feel that this is not ready for prime time…’”