Today is the final day of regular session for the General Assembly, here is a summary of the major issues:
Pension benefit reduction - yesterday the Republican House Leadership withdrew its support for pension changes due to the shifting of pension funding burden to local school districts. Late last night, Speaker Madigan changed his position on the issue and turned the lead on pension reform to House Minority Leader Cross. It is expected that the bill will be amended to take out local funding of teacher pensions. We fully expect the new legislation which impacts state employees and retirees to pass, but will continue to fight. This will call for both state employees and retirees to choose between a new COLA that significantly reduces benefits or maintaining the current COLA and retirees losing healthcare benefits. Pension bills are as following: House Bill (HB) 1447 (Senate Amendment 2), HB 3076 (Senate Bill 2) and HB 3865 (Senate Amendment 3).
Budget - both the House and Senate budgets contain the funding to keep open Tamms, Dwight, Joliet and Murphysboro, unless something happens today, the facilities will be funded. The bad news, the Governor will be able to control which facilities stay open and which close. We will continue to fight to keep all facilities open.
Collective bargaining - the bill to remove the rights of certain state employees to be covered by a union contract resurfaced yesterday. We are analzing the bill and its impact on our membersd. Last night Senate Executive Committee passed the bill moving it to the floor. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT ALL MEMBERS CALL THEIR STATE SENATOR AND ASK THEM TO VOTE "NO" ON SB1556.
Please make one last call to your legislators and ask them to vote "NO" on all three issues!
Call them at 1 888 412 6570
ISEA, Laborers' Local 2002 Board & Staff