SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Pat Quinn Tuesday called a pension-cutting plan from Senate President John Cullerton "very attractive."
Cullerton's legislation has two distinct pension-cutting plans to try to battle the chances either one might be unconstitutional. In theory, if judges reject one part in an eventual lawsuit, they could possibly uphold the other.
And it combines the idea to cut teachers' and state workers' retirement benefits, pushed by state Rep. Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook, with Cullerton's preferred idea.
Cullerton wants a plan that would give workers a choice between taking reduced retirement benefits with subsidized state health care and keeping their current benefits with no health care.
Quinn praised Cullerton's proposal because it "kind of combines all those ideas into one bill. And that's very attractive." He said he is "optimistic" that the proposal will gain "momentum."
But Cullerton's proposal has raised concerns because it is hard to estimate how much money it would save the state.
Savings would depend on how many people took each option.
Illinois has nearly $100 billion in pension debt, a problem that hampers its ability to spend money in other areas, like schools and care for the disabled and elderly.