House panel rejects Rauner pension plan that would gut collective bargaining

SPRINGFIELD — An Illinois House panel raised questions Wednesday about constitutionality and collective bargaining rights outlined in a pension overhaul proposed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Rauner’s administration released a 400-plus page proposal last week calling it “fair and reasonable” for workers. A House committee voted down the measure Wednesday.

For the 5th time, the Illinois House rejected Rauner’s proposal. Amendment #2 to HB 680 was defeated with only one vote in support and 66 opposed. All Democrats and only 4 Republicans voted against Rauner’s plan.

The plan would prohibit state-worker unions from collective bargaining on issues like wages and would freeze salaries for five years. Then it would offer workers the choice of getting raises, more vacation or overtime – but only if they agree to a less-generous pension plan.

Democratic leaders have blasted the measure. Labor unions called it a waste of time.
Committee members questioned the proposed changes Wednesday in light of the Illinois Supreme Court ruling a 2013 pension law unconstitutional.