Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) is counting votes, and that’s not limited to the legislature.

“I think that there will be at least four members of the Illinois Supreme Court that will approve” his new pension bill, which passed a House committee Wednesday morning. A floor vote is expected today.

Madigan is so sure of a court challenge that his bill does not take effect for a couple of years. Union leaders lined up in opposition at a committee hearing. They brought retiree Tim Sickmeyer, who worked for the conservation police and said, “I feel I’ve been unfairly painted by the media and wealthy financiers to be a pariah on this state.”

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The bill includes items which have been discussed before, including a cap on pensionable salaries, more contribution by workers, and less cost-of-living adjustment for future retirees.

As for a shift in the cost of downstate teacher pensions to local districts, Madigan says that’s coming in another bill.

SB 1 HCA 1 has passed the House Personnel and Pensions Committee.