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Illinois House OK’s Ban On Pension Double-Dipping

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Illinois House Floor

House floor at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill. (AP File Photo)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – The Illinois House has voted to crack down on union leaders double dipping with pensions from both the state and their labor organizations.

WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports that the House voted 113-3 to prevent public employees who served in union positions from receiving pensions from both the government and the union.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

House Republican Leader Tom Cross, who sponsored the legislation, said some have been “crafty and creative” in cashing in on a 1991 pension law that allowed public employees to get two pensions.

“There was a reference in this law that said you couldn’t get a second pension if you were getting a city pension from a local union,” Cross said. “What people did, which isn’t hard to believe, is they took the interpretation to mean if it wasn’t a local union, it might be an international or a broader-based union of some type. Which results in the fact that they were getting two pensions – one from the city and one from the union.”

Cross’s measure also would mean that a public employee taking a leave of absence from a government job to serve in a union post will receive a state pension based on his or her public salary before the leave – not based on the higher union salary.

“This has been somewhat of a shock to us. Even by Illinois standards, some of the abuses are egregious and outrageous,” Cross said.

The legislation now goes to the Illinois Senate.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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