The pension conference committee has held three public hearings, and public employees and retirees have filled committee rooms to overflow capacity each time in support of a fair pension solution.
But the committee remains stacked with politicians who have historically supported extreme, illegal pension cuts. Now they’ve gone behind closed doors, and rumors are spreading that the committee is seriously considering slashing cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) essentially as deeply as House Speaker Michael Madigan’s Senate Bill 1.
The COLA change being reviewed by the committee would take away the current 3% compounded COLA and replace it with a COLA that only keeps pace with half of the inflation rate (also called “Half-CPI”). It’s just yet another version of SB 1.
For more information on this important topic, click here to view the coalition’s fact sheet that explains the major problems with the Half-CPI “Diet COLA” cut being considered by the conference committee.
Our fact sheet shows why the current 3% compounded COLA is a better guard against inflation, why cutting the COLA to Half-CPI would endanger retirement security just like SB 1, and why a move to Half-CPI is potentially unconstitutional.
We must get the word out and keep the pressure on conference committee members and state legislators. With Governor Pat Quinn cancelling legislators’ salaries until a pension bill passes, lawmakers may be tempted to pass any measure – even an unfair, unconstitutional bill – just to send a bill to the Governor’s desk.
Click here to send an e-mail the conference committee members.
Then, click here to call your state representative and senators. You can use our fact sheet to inform them of the dangers of a Half-CPI COLA. Tell them instead to demand a vote on Senate Bill 2404 unchanged and to explore alternatives to cutting pensions, such as closing wasteful corporate tax loopholes. Call 888-412-6570 today.
The conference committee could produce a bill anytime this summer, so we must stay alert, be involved, and act with urgency. “Like” us on Facebook for frequent updates. Thank you for your constant advocacy in defense of a secure retirement for the working families of our state.