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Democrats Warn Rauner Pension Overhaul Will Hurt Illinois

Democrat lawmakers in Illinois called for a thorough review of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s pension reform overhaul Tuesday.

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz and state Sen. Daniel Biss proposed the resolution to review the recent pension overhaul with “rigorous scrutiny,” arguing the plan will ultimately hurt residents of the state by taking away some pension benefits. Rauner, however, hopes the reforms will save the program from the significant financial trouble it has been facing.

“Every time we have considered pension reform proposals in Springfield, we have relied on detailed analysis from the retirement systems on how the changes would affect their retirees to guide our decisions,” Nekritz said in a prepared statement provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We must take these steps to prevent decisions that could make our pension problem much worse.”

The resolution calls upon the Teachers’ Retirement System and the State Universities Retirement System, two prominent retirement groups, to review the pension reform and provide a detailed report before it goes into effect.

“That TRS and SURS provide a detailed analysis on the financial impact that the governor’s proposal would have on the members of working families,” the resolution, which was obtained by TheDCNF, declared. “That this report be completed prior to any consideration of the governor’s proposal.”

The Illinois Policy Institute has noted the plan does help to fix the growing deficit problem but that more will need to be done if Rauner hopes to save the pension program completely.

“Gov. Bruce Rauner’s first budget plan for the state of Illinois removed a $6.2 billion structural deficit without relying on tax increases,” Benjamin VanMetre wrote for IPI.

“Rauner’s initial pension proposal helps him achieve his target goal of a balanced budget without tax increases,” he continued. “But it will take a comprehensive 401(k)-style reform plan – one that caps the current politician-run, defined-benefit pension plans and moves all new and current public employees into 401(k)-style retirement plans going forward – to solve the pension crisis once and for all.”

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