The latest idea to force pension reform in Illinois comes from a candidate for governor. William Daley, who is challenging Gov. Pat Quinn in the Democratic primary, has this idea: “We are at a point of a crisis, and it is my opinion – strong opinion – that what the governor ought to do is he ought to call the legislative leaders together, the four of them, and all eight [actually 10] members of the conference committee, bring them to the mansion in Springfield and have marathon negotiations, and no one leaves until they come to a resolution. This is what a leader would do,” Daley said.
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Daley says nothing else has worked so far. The governor says there have been “meetings galore,” and says Daley is merely sniping from the sidelines. At the governor’s suggestion, a 10-member conference committee was appointed on June 19. That committee expects to produce a result in mid-August. The state has an unfunded pension liability of close to $100 million, and it grows by $17 million a day.