Last Chance Saloon in Illinois

…and then there was only one option on the table.

(May 31, 2013) — One of the two pension resolution options competing to win over state legislators has been shot down in flames, leaving just hours to resolve Illinois’ multi-billion dollar problem.

Last night state senators voted 16-42 against a proposal that had been approved by the House of Representatives this month, Reuters reported. The bill had been championed by House Speaker Michael Madigan and just this week estimates had predicted it could wipe out the entire $187 billion public pension deficit in 30 years.

However, critics of the plan had deemed it “unconstitutional“, and said it would not survive a court challenge. It would have seen pension fund members and retirees face larger contributions, longer working lives, and potential cuts to their cost of living increases.

Supporters of the plan said told the newswire that they would continue to fight for the proposals, but in the dying hours of the current political session-which closes tonight- it is unlikely to happen soon.

This leaves all hopes lying with another bill that is making its way through the state’s legislature and is backed by Senate President John Cullerton. He maintains the plan would see a 90% reduction in the deficit and would fall in line with what had been promised to pension fund members and retirees.

The bill has the support of unions, as it gives members options of passing up other benefits and collecting a fuller pension.

The battle continues.