By Dave Dahl
SPRINGFIELD - State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) went there.
He’s proposing a pension solution (H.B. 2375) that makes permanent the 2011 income tax increase that was supposed to expire. The additional 2 percentage points would help shore up the state’s five pension systems which carry an unfunded liability approaching $100 billion.
Lang knows the idea will be unpopular, but he says it’s necessary.
“I think most legislators in this building … will tell you we need the dollars. And the taxpayers of the state of Illinois, even those who would be the angriest about this, will tell you we need the cash.”
Lang said other pension proposals out there are unlikely to pass a constitutional test. He said plans which present choices for pensioners reflect a reduction of benefits, which is unconstitutional.
Other features of the Lang plan:
Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno said Wednesday the good news is that there are several pension proposals on the table. But she said the bad news is that there isn't consensus. She questions whether Lang's proposal is fair. Radogno said those funds were dedicated to help fill a budget hole and schools or public safety could also use the money.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.