SPRINGFIELD - After discussion about which pension reform would be the most likely to pass a court challenge, do the least amount of damage to retired state employees and still make the most progress towards paying down Illinois unpaid obligations, State Senator John Cullerton's SB 2404 passed the Illinois Senate Thursday 40 to 16 to 0.
Cullerton's plan will run head on to House Speaker Mike Madigan's plan the House passed last week. Senators were told that they'll have the opportunity to vote on Madigan's plan before the end of the session.
State Senator Linda Holmes adamantly pushed the Senate to support Cullerton's plan, scoffing remarks of Republicans who said SB 2404 did not save the people of Illinois enough to allow the state to keep promises made to retirees. Holmes said it was important that the state keep promises made to its workers, and SB 2404's provisions made that possible.
"Will we be fiscally responsible and morally bankrupt?" Holmes asked her colleagues.
Cullerton assured senators, "This is a 30 year pension ramp. We will be paid up to 90 percent in 2045."
The Senate President said he appreciated the sacrifices state workers are willing to make with this plan. Illinois Retired Teachers Association has declared it will take both Cullerton and Madigan's plans to court if either becomes law.
Four Republican senators voted Yes on SB 2404: Althoff, Connelly, McCann and Rose. Two Democrat senators voted against Cullerton's plan: Biss and Steans. Republican Kyle McCarter and Democrats Bertino- Tarrant and Harris took a walk during the vote: