Tuesday, January 8 2013, 10:54 PM CST
House Adjourns Without Pension Action
The Illinois House has adjourned without taking any action on pension
reform. Just this morning, Gov. Pat Quinn called on lawmakers to address
the pension deficit, which is nearing $100 billion. But it didn't
The House speaker didn't call the latest pension reform
proposal to the floor for a vote before adjourning lawmakers this
The most recent idea was one from Quinn. It involved
appointing an eight-member commission to come up with recommendations
for fixing the state's pension funding problem. He introduced it in a
committee today, after sponsors of a reform plan said they didn't have
the votes to pass it. That was the plan that would have required
employees to contribute more to their own retirements.
Senate President John Cullerton reacted to the inaction.
unfortunate, but we have to start up again literally tomorrow,"
Cullerton said. "And I will be more than happy to offer the same
compromise I just talked to you about."
Cullerton had questioned
the constitutionality of the plan, but said now he's willing to consider
it if lawmakers have a backup in the event a court strikes it down. The
Senate had approved a proposal from Cullerton last year that would've
given employees the option to keep their current benefits. The House
never took up that idea.
Since the lame-duck session is now over,
lawmakers will have to reintroduce any pension proposal and start at
the beginning of the legislative approval process.
When urging lawmakers to act this morning, Quinn said the state's economy is being "held hostage" by "political timidity."