Ill. Senate president calls on Rauner to get moving on pension reform

SPRINGFIELD — Senate President John Cullerton says he’s tried to get Gov. Bruce Rauner moving on pension reform, with little success.
Along with asking for a new budget proposal from Rauner, Cullerton says he wants to work with Rauner and Republican legislators to craft a pension reform proposal which, unlike the General Assembly’s 2013 attempt, can withstand a court challenge.
Cullerton offered his own plan in May, which he says will save the state $1 billion per year, but says it got a chilly reception from Rauner.
“We gave it to him, and he took it and said ‘that’s very interesting,’ and he came back with his own pension bill which is just as unconstitutional as the last one,” Cullerton said.
Rauner’s plan claims to save more than Cullerton’s, but has been criticized by Democrats for being too similar to the law which the Illinois Supreme Court struck down earlier this year, and including provisions to remove a wide range of issues from collective bargaining for state workers, like wages, vacation time, holidays, work schedules, and tenure.
Cullerton says if Rauner wants to discuss pension reform, “I’d be more than happy to work with him.”