Ill. Democrats Try to Thwart Pension Abuse Bill

Monday, 12 Dec 2011 09:37 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Illinois Democratic lawmakers are trying to roll back legislation passed just two weeks ago that would crack down on pension abuses by union leaders, according to a report Monday in the Chicago Tribune.
The state House-passed bill sent to the governor last month would ban the practice of setting public-pension payouts based on the union salaries of government workers who also hold union positions.
It would also remove two teacher union lobbyists from the public pension system, which they were able to qualify for after serving as substitute teachers for a single day.
The Tribune reported the new legislation proposed by Democrats would allow the two lobbyists to remain in the system and would also make an exception for current union officials on leave of absence from their regular public jobs.
Democratic Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the chief sponsor of the new bill, said the version already approved by the House is unconstitutional because it would reduce benefits for union leaders and other retirees.
According to the Tribune, some lawsuits have already been threatened against the House-passed measure.
State Republican lawmakers, however, say the Democrats are simply trying to protect union officials who for years have been double-dipping from both public and union pension funds.

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