CHICAGO, IL – Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement Thursday after Gov. Bruce Rauner and Republican legislative leaders proposed changes to Illinois’ pension system:
“I have shown my commitment to achieving pension reform on a number of occasions over the last several years. The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that the General Assembly cannot alter earned benefits. With the court’s guidance, we now have a clearer framework of what cannot be done in any future pension reform proposal. To avoid wasting taxpayer dollars on lawsuits, it’s important that we carefully consider the court’s direction when we take up pension reform proposals as we work to address the state’s unfunded pension debt while ensuring that retirees who have worked hard for decades will receive their retirement benefits.
“The Governor said today that in exchange for negotiating on pension reform, he will continue to demand changes that will drive down the wages and standard of living of middle-class families. Despite the Governor’s desire to drive a wedge between Democrats in the House and Senate, neither President Cullerton nor I will agree to make changes proposed by the Governor that will hurt the middle-class families of our state.”