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Pritzker signs Batinick’s measure aimed at lowering state pension costs

Gov. JB Pritzker signed a Plainfield state lawmaker’s bill this week aimed at reducing the state’s pension liabilities.

H.B. 4292 extends the pension buyout option for state employees to 2026, according to a news release. The bill authorizes $1 billion in additional general obligation bond funding to extend the buyout program.

State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, and the governor touted the measure as a way to ensure fiscal responsibility and reduce overall liability costs on taxpayers.

“I’m happy to see this bipartisan solution to address our state’s pension liability is being extended,” Batinick said in a statement. “I have been working on this plan for years and am pleased to see it has been effective for our state. This is one of the ideas I am most proud of and it’s great that it will continue to help Illinoisans further into the future.”

Previously the buyouts were offered only through June of 2024.

The additional payment will save taxpayers an estimated $1.8 billion, according to the news release.

“Responsible fiscal management means taking every action possible to address our pension obligations while honoring promises made to current and retired workers — promises made by governors and legislators on both sides of the aisle,” Pritzker said in a statement. “The expansion of this bipartisan pension buyout program builds on Democrats’ work this session to save taxpayers nearly $2 billion in pension liabilities by paying down our pension debt in advance.”

Illinois State Comptroller Susana Mendoza lauded legislators from both parties working on the solution to save taxpayers money.

“This is yet another example, along with a billion dollars for the Rainy Day Fund and half-a-billion in additional pension payments, that show Illinois is saving, not spending, and earning credit upgrades,” Mendoza said in a statement.

The state also recently received three credit rating upgrades after to decades of stagnation and decline because of debt reduction and long-term liability monitoring.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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