Gov. Rauner’s pension plan under scrutiny in House panel

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – An Illinois House panel is raising questions 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 plans to discuss it piecemeal in the coming weeks.

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.