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Illinois House Rejects CPS Pension Payment Bill

The Illinois House failed to approve a bill that would have delayed CPS’ massive pension payment due at the end of the month. Chicago Tonight Springfield reporter Amanda Vinicky has the latest on that and why the Governor’s office skipped a House and Revenue Finance Committee meeting.

The Chicago Teachers Union released the following statement in response to new legislation filed today in Springfield seeking to amend Senate Bill 437 in order to establish a pension holiday until August 10, 2015:

“Our labor agreement with the Board expires next Tuesday. Chicago’s public school educators are united in their belief that the $634 million payment must be made as required by law; that we receive a fair contract that will improve both learning and working conditions in our buildings; and, that our schools must open in the fall. Understanding that Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is broke on purpose,  the CTU continues to offer its expertise in working with CPS and the mayor toward finding a long-term solution for operating the school district and meeting the district’s pension obligations without massive layoffs and more closed schools. We continue to be dismayed at the Board’s refusal to even look at the multitude of progressive revenue options available. A mini pension holiday is like putting a tiny piece of gauze on a hemorrhaging wound. If there is any light at the end of this tunnel, we want to make sure it’s not an oncoming train,” - Stephanie Gadlin, CTU spokeswoman.

Lance Trover, director of communications for the Rauner administration, issued the following statement on the failed bill to postpone CPS’ pension payment:

"Governor Rauner and Republican leaders supported this legislation, but the Speaker had Chicago Democrats vote against it. The only reason the Speaker's Chicago caucus would vote against the Mayor's bill is because Madigan wanted to kill it."

House Speaker Michael Madigan held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to talk about the bill’s failure and the continuation of the budget stalemate.