Illinois labor unions say the legislature's idea of changing cost of living benefits to fix the pension systems is unconstitutional. Sean Smoot with the Illinois Police Benevolent and Protective Association says the framework is flawed and morally wrong.
Cinda Clickna, President of the Illinois Education Association, says their members are expected to bail the state out.
Henry Bayer, with AFSCME Council 31, says big corporations are getting major benefits while the state's most vulnerable citizens are getting shafted.
He adds it's not fair for the state to put the pension fix on the backs of hard working people.
Lawmakers are considering several bills that would give state workers, teachers, university workers, and legislators an option to accept a lower cost-of-living adjustment while keeping health care benefits in retirement and get salary increases toward their pensions. Or, they can keep their current cost of living rate and opt out of healthcare in retirement and freeze their salaries where they are now. State Representative Elaine Nekritz says giving employees the option to choose their benefit is within constitutional guidelines. But she's not sure how much support the proposal will have come Friday when it's time to take a vote.