Madigan Says He's Open To Another Try At Pension System Changes

Jan 27, 2016

Speaker Michael Madigan
Credit ilga.gov

House Speaker Michael Madigan says he's open to considering a new pension overhaul and is ``anxious'' to see legislation. 

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is backing a plan pushed by Democratic Senate President John Cullerton. It would give state workers and retirees a choice in retirement benefits. Rauner says it would save $1 billion annually.  

Rauner on Wednesday called addressing Illinois' $111 billion pension debt ``one of the most critical actions we can take'' to save taxpayers money. He says his lawyers are working with Cullerton's staff to finalize legislation.  

Cullerton proposed a similar plan several years ago. Madigan rejected that proposal in favor of legislation he sponsored that cut retirement benefits. The Illinois Supreme Court later found the measure unconstitutional.  

The Chicago Democrat says he's ``open on all the pension questions'' and is ``anxious to see the governor's language.''