In yet another attempt to force through big cuts to the pension benefits of active and retired state employees, elected officials are pursuing a new path—turning the problem over to a legislative “conference committee.”

After pension-slashing SB 1 failed for a third time during the special legislative session on June 19, legislative leaders decided to form a ten-member conference committee to develop its own proposal. However, this committee is unfairly stacked with legislators who support SB 1, which would make steep cuts to the pension benefits of both active and retired public employees. Click here to read a more detailed update.

The Conference Committee on Pensions will meet in Springfield on Monday, July 8 at 3 p.m. in Rm. 409 of the State Capitol. Can you be there?

It’s very important that we have plenty of union members and retirees there to send a clear message about how strongly we oppose SB 1 or any similar measure that would drastically reduce retirement benefits.

The conference committee has already held two hearings in Chicago—on June 27 and July 3. Active and retired state workers packed the hearing room on both days. On June 27, the We Are One Illinois union coalition presented compelling testimony about the damage that unfair and unconstitutional measures like SB 1 would do.

AFSCME and our partners in the We Are One Illinois coalition are backing SB 2404, legislation that makes far more modest changes to the pension system. But House Speaker Michael Madigan is refusing to call SB 2404 for a vote, even though it passed the Senate by a wide margin.

It’s critical that we keep the pressure on for fair and constitutional pension reform. If you can’t make it to the Conference Committee meeting on Monday, here’s what you can do to help.

Click here to send an e-mail to members of the conference committee to encourage them to develop a solution that is fair and constitutional, like the unchanged version of SB 2404.

Click here or call 888-412-6570 to tell your state representative and senator to reject any plans—including any future bills developed by the conference committee—if they do not have the support of the We Are One Illinois union coalition.

Repost via AFSCME Council 31