In 2011, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn increased state income tax from 3 percent to 5 percent. The increase was supposed to expire in 2014, but state Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) wants to keep that tax hike indefinitely - it's his solution for repaying the $97 billion owed to all five pension sectors in Illinois, the State Journal-Register reported.
Under Lang's plan, state workers would be required to pay an additional 3 percentage points into their pensions and the minimum retirement age for full pension benefits would be 67-years-old, the Journal-Register stated.
However, there are other proposals, but Lang is calling them "unconstitutional" because they would change cost-of-living benefits for retirees.
"We need a pension plan that will not end up in the courts," Lang told the Journal-Register. "It's a plan that doesn't take anyone's benefits away."
In five years, Illinois' unpaid pension bills will reach $22 billion if no action is taken by lawmakers, Crain's Chicago Business reported. That would make the state the "worst-in-the-nation" regarding its pension predicament, the publication reported.
State Rep. Elaine Nexritz (D-Northbrook) has her own pension reform plan. The six-term-rep said she has some concerns over Lang's proposal, adding that income tax increases won't solve Illinois' pension crisis.
What do you think?
How should lawmakers solve the state's current pension fiasco? Quinn has stood behind Senate Bill 1, which would require the state - and all its pension systems - "to be 100 percent funded by 2043."
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