CHICAGO – – Governor Blagojevich today signed a bill into law that provides a program of early retirement incentives to City of Chicago workers. With the passage of the bill an estimated 600 city workers will not be laid off.
House Bill 600 amends the Chicago Police, Chicago Firefighter, Chicago Municipal, Chicago Laborers, and Chicago Park District pension codes for an early retirement package. The new law allows city workers to purchase years of service or make additional pension payments in order for them to retire earlier.
This bill sets pension agreements between the City of Chicago and its four pension funds (Fire, Police, Laborers and the City) and affected labor organizations and between the Chicago Park District, its Pension Fund and affected labor organizations.
With the passage of HB 600, the city estimates that the incentive will result in additional budgetary savings of $15 million in 2004 and avoids over 600 layoffs of employees.
The bill, which has no financial impact on the state, received bipartisan support. Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago) and Speaker Michael J. Madigan sponsored the bill. Other sponsors include Representatives Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago); Richard T. Bradley (D-Chicago); Edward J. Acevedo (D-Chicago); Deborah L. Graham (D-Oak Park); and Ralph C. Capparelli (D-Chicago) and Senators Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago); Edward D. Maloney (D-Chicago); Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) and Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago).