State Treasurer Dan Rutherford says all pension reform proposals should get consideration as the state faces a pension liability of $95 billion. (Photo from Dan Rutherford's Facebook page)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
BLOOMINGTON - State Treasurer Dan Rutherford said he won't pick out the things he does and doesn't like about the latest pension reform package.
The bill was proposed by about 20 lawmakers in Illinois this week. It would reduce cost of living increases for retirees and require workers to contribute more to their retirement. Younger employees would have to work longer, and some costs for teacher pensions would shift to school districts.
Rutherford said the bill as a whole deserves consideration.
"One cannot agree to one piece of it alone and hope the rest of it comes along," Rutherford said. "It needs to be concurred to as an entire package when that time comes," Rutherford said.
The plan also includes a guarantee Illinois will meet its funding obligations. The state's pensions are currently $95 billion underfunded.
Rutherford said he does like that the bill was proposed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the General Assembly.
"There's been so much bantering about the leadership and this governor, and we've seen inaction. So, that's why I support, both Democrats and Republicans of the rank-and-file of the General Assembly coming together," Rutherford said.
Supporters hope the proposal will give lawmakers a fresh start when they return to Springfield to take on the issue in January.
Stephanie Pawlowski can be reached at Stephanie.Pawlowski@Cumulus.com.