Rhetoric Heats Up Over Illinois State Pension Benefits
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. (IRN) – Illinois House Republicans voted unanimously to make it harder to increase state worker pension benefits, but got angry when they couldn’t make it harder to increase taxes.
Republicans wanted to pull a measure out of the Rules Committee that would require a three-fifths majority vote to increase taxes. It’s only fair, they said, because they’d just approved a measure to require that same majority to increase pension benefits.
Democrats objected to the motion, which confused State Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon). “It seems to me that if we’re going to advocate one improvement, we would be for all improvements,” he says. “But more so, we would want to protect the taxpayers’ interest and I don’t see that happening here.”
The pension measure now moves to the Senate and if approved there, the question would go before voters in November.
The measure is HJRCA (House joint resolution constitutional amendment) 49. The two constitutional amendments to require a three-fifths vote on future tax increases are HJRCAs 23 and 44.