Cullerton: Illinois pension problem not 'crisis' - New York News

Cullerton: Illinois pension problem not 'crisis'

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (Associated Press) -

With lawmakers preparing to return to Springfield this week to address the state's most pressing issues, Senate President John Cullerton is suggesting the $97 billion Illinois pension shortfall isn't as dire as other top leaders contend.

During an interview Sunday on WGN Radio, Cullerton said the shortfall isn't an imminent crisis but acknowledged finding a solution would help bring down income taxes.

"Let me also just say that people really misunderstand the nature of this whole problem," Cullerton said. "I don't think you can use the word crisis to describe it at the state level."

Cullerton's statements come in contrast to those of Gov. Pat Quinn, as well as the state's other three legislative leaders. Quinn has said he was "put on earth" to solve the problem, and wants lawmakers to address pensions before anything else this fall. Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan last January described the pension crisis as "the most serious problem affecting the state of Illinois today."

Cullerton says the state has been putting more money into its pension systems under a 1996 law. He says that it's "something we have to deal with, but not something we're on the verge of bankruptcy on."

He says he wants to lower the annual amount the state pays in, which will generate savings to allow the state's income tax to be cut.

However, Cullerton said, the situation is not as dire as f the city of Chicago's pension systems, which are at risk of collapse.

Lawmakers begin their fall veto session Tuesday and face considerable pressure to deal with the pension problem, considered the nation's worst.

But a bipartisan committee working on reform is split over a plan that saves $138 billion over 30 years. Cullerton supports that plan, but points to delayed implementation dates of legislation as one reason lawmakers could wait to vote on the issue until 2014.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Report: health risks at some nail salons

    Report: health risks at some nail salons

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:28 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:28:27 GMT
    One of the most surprising findings in a report from the New York City public advocate is that city officials have virtually no authority over how nail salons are run. The city can't enforce standards like they do with restaurants, so it's clearly a case of beauty buyer beware. We get our nails done without thinking too much about it.
    One of the most surprising findings in a report from the New York City public advocate is that city officials have virtually no authority over how nail salons are run. The city can't enforce standards like they do with restaurants, so it's clearly a case of beauty buyer beware. We get our nails done without thinking too much about it.
  • Car strikes toddler; driver arrested

    Car strikes toddler; driver arrested

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:15 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:15:49 GMT
    Police on Long Island say a 30-year-old driver has been arrested in connection with an accident that injured a 3-year-old girl being pushed in a stroller. Police say Scott Shea of Middle Island was driving a Jeep northbound on William Floyd Parkway, just south of Montauk Highway, when he struck the toddler at about 3:45 p.m. Monday.
    Police on Long Island say a 30-year-old driver has been arrested in connection with an accident that injured a 3-year-old girl being pushed in a stroller. Police say Scott Shea of Middle Island was driving a Jeep northbound on William Floyd Parkway, just south of Montauk Highway, when he struck the toddler at about 3:45 p.m. Monday.
  • Lawsuit settlements reached in Metro-North crash

    Lawsuit settlements reached in Metro-North crash

    Monday, September 15 2014 8:39 PM EDT2014-09-16 00:39:39 GMT
    Four of 28 people who sued the Metro-North Railroad in federal court after being injured in a Bridgeport train crash last year have settled with the commuter railroad.
    Four of 28 people who sued the Metro-North Railroad in federal court after being injured in a train crash in Connecticut last year have settled with the commuter railroad.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices