Ill. Senate committee OKs cost-shift plan

Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- An Illinois Senate panel has OK'd a proposal requiring state universities and community colleges to gradually pick up pension costs.

Committee members voted 8-6 Friday. It heads to the Senate floor. The proposal says public institutions of higher education pay a half of 1 percent of payroll costs into the pension system annually. They'd start paying in fiscal year 2015.

Illinois currently pays retirement costs for universities and most local school districts. Illinois universities and community colleges agreed to pick up costs earlier this month, but lawmakers said they weren't likely extend that idea to local school districts by Friday's adjournment.

Sen. Daniel Biss is a bill sponsor. The Evanston Democrat says it's a significant agreement.

Opponents argue the proposal will raise tuition.