Cook County pension plan faces possible final vote
SPRINGFIELD -- State lawmakers Wednesday set up a final vote over whether Cook County can cut its workers' pension benefits and pay more into its retirement funds in an effort to save them from insolvency.
The plan, backed by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, would raise the retirement age for some workers and limit how much their pension benefits rise each year in retirement, among other things.
A House committee approved the plan Wednesday, setting up a possible floor vote by the end of the week. The Senate has already signed off.
Republicans, though, have raised concerns that the county's plan to put $149 million more per year into workers' retirements starting in 2016 could mean property tax hikes to raise the money.
Preckwinkle said the county will try to work to avoid a tax hike but can't guarantee it's possible.
So far, a different proposal to try to save suburban towns money on their police officer and firefighter pension costs hasn't materialized.