Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Lawmakers overrule Rauner's pension bill veto

State lawmakers delivered a shocking loss to Gov. Bruce Rauner on Memorial Day when Republicans joined Democrats to override his veto of a Chicago pension plan.

According to the Associated Press, Chicago will save $1 billion on police and fire pension costs in the short term under the law the General Assembly approved Monday.

The Senate voted 39-19 and the House voted 72-43 to undo Republican Governor Bruce Rauner's veto on Friday that the city claimed would lead to a $300 million property tax hike. It will now become law.

Rauner argued that "Clearly, those who supported this measure haven't recognized what happens when government fail to promptly fund pension obligations."

The surprising reversal also makes it a major win for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"On Memorial Day I particularly want to thank Democrats and Republicans in the General Assembly for putting politics aside and doing the right thing for Chicago taxpayers, and for our first responders," Emanuel said in a prepared statement.

The city's police and fire funds are $12 billion short of what's needed to cover current and future obligations. Chronic underfunding for decades is mainly to blame as it is responsible for the $111 billion shortfall Illinois faces in its state-employee accounts.

Information provided by the Associated Press and Chicago Tribune

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