Lawmakers, Group Discuss Illinois Pension Debt

Craig Dellimore
October 10, 2018 - 8:03 pm

Marian Vejcik |


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Some state lawmakers seem to agree that trying to solve Illinois’ pension problems solely by cutting benefits is missing the mark by a long shot.

At a forum for the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, Aurora Democratic State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit agreed with organization that the pension crisis is not about generous retiree benefits -- it’s about the debt.

Ralph Martire, the center’s executive director, said Wednesday during a fiscal forum that benefits for retirees are only a fraction of the money the state is paying for pensions. He said it’s more about the mounting debt on past borrowing against the pension funds.

The CTBA calls for amortizing the debt. But retiring Republican state Rep. David Harris of Arlington Heights said any payment plan could be complicated if there's an economic downturn.