Illinois Policy Institute Wants To Work With Pritzker To Solve Pension Debt

Craig Dellimore
December 05, 2018 - 9:07 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A free-market group that was both an ally and a foe of Illinois’ Governor is now saying it wants to work with the next Governor to solve the state’s biggest financial challenge, it’s pension debt.

It’s been five years to the day since former Governor Pat Quinn signed the Senate Bill 1 pension measure that the Illinois Policy Institute and CEO John Tillman had opposed as a good first step, but only a half-measure.

Tillman admits he was wrong about SB1. It would have been good if it stayed in place, he said. 

"It turns out it wasn't just one good step, maybe it was five or six very good steps. If you look at what would have happened since that bill was passed and if the Supreme Court had not ruled it unconstitutional," Tillman said. 

So, now, the controversial think tank, at the center of some turmoil under Governor Rauner, is suggesting a bipartisan effort under JB Pritzker to change the Illinois Constitution and create a two-option pension system that, he said, won’t affect benefits earned by current workers or retirees.  He is not expecting an easy sell.

"The most important thing to do is to fix the problem now and that's why we are using the anniversary day of the 2013 reform to hold ourselves accountable and to encourage the General Assembly to look back at what they did in a bipartisan fashion and say hey there's a lesson there," Tillman said.