Teachers push for repeal of benefit cap change

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND)- The Illinois Education Association is calling on lawmakers to reverse a change that lowered caps on pension-affecting pay increases for teachers and university faculty.

Until recently, state law penalized school districts for end-of-career retirement benefits above six percent. A provision of the budget implementation bill passed in may lowers that cap to three percent.

“We were in conversations with a number of legislators, even some of the budgeteers, and this provision was not discussed with us,’ said Jim reed, Director of Government Relations for IEA.

Reed said the reduction is projected to save about $22 million.

“The $22 million is really negligible when you look at the whole state budget, when you look at the impact it’s having on working people,” Reed said, adding that penalties from the change could cost school districts $350 million.

State Sen. Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg has introduced a bill to return the cap to six percent.

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