SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KMOX) – Illinois legislators are back at the Capitol to address the state’s $97 billion pension crisis.

The proposed cost shift for universities and community colleges is under consideration in a Senate committee.

A bill sponsored by State Sen. Mike Hastings (D-Orland Hills) would reduce the cost of living adjustment for retirees, increase Tier One contributions by 2 percentage points, and create a Tier Three pension category. This bill has support from the universities.

“They want to feel a sense of assurance that their pension dollars are going to help sustain a long life, a healthy longevity, that I wish for all of us,” says Elaine Maimon, president of Governors State University, in a release.

A bill which passed the House during the regular session was sponsored by State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston). The bill gradually shifts the cost by one-half of 1 percent of payroll per year. It is supported by the community colleges.

“We requested a mechanism so that community colleges would not have to pay for benefits that the General Assembly might in their wisdom offer to employees in the future. This piece of legislation contains that mechanism,” says Tom Ryder, spokesman for the Illinois Community College Trustees Association, in the release.

In a House committee, lawmakers discussed pension bill that would affect all state pension systems, except judges.

Illinois has the largest unfunded state pension shortfall in the nation.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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