Pension bill is do or die

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ILLINOIS - An Illinois House panel endorsed the pension reform bill that is going through the state legislature Monday.

The latest version asks teachers and state workers to give 2% of their salary to their retirements. It also cuts back on the cost of living increases for retirees.

"I don't know what the perfect solution is," Moline Superintendent David Moyer said. "Everybody is probably going to be a little unhappy when the final solution comes out."

Moyer says the current plan is better than the plan that was in place until last week. That plan would have put the pension burden more on local school districts by making them pay increased amounts into their teacher retirement systems. House Speaker Mike Madigan removed that requirement last week.

"We're not really in a position to go to a referendum and ask the community for more money," Moyer said. "Our only other option is reductions."

Public unions deeply oppose the pension bill. They say it violates the Illinois Constitution. Both the state house and senate would have to pass the bill Tuesday. A new legislature is sworn in on Wednesday. The bill is SB 1673.