Two of the people trying to solve Illinois’ $100 billion pension crisis say they’re keeping calm, despite everything that’s being said and written about state government and the Democratic Party of Illinois. If there’s a problem, State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) says, it’s simply the size and complexity of the pension problem itself, and nothing else.
Click here for summary
“There’s a huge amount of atmospherics outside,” says Biss, “and, so far, I think, we’ve done, internally, a good job of ignoring it and trying to work on the actual goal at hand and let other people worry about all the other considerations.” Those “atmospherics” would include speculation that the governor’s tactics have steeled lawmakers – particularly his fellow Democrats – against him. State Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) says, “I’ve talked with a number of my House colleagues over the last two weeks. Nobody has said to me, (a) we are not willing to vote on it, and (b) we want you to do something different on the conference committee because of” wanting to embarrass the governor.
Biss insists the governor’s decision last month to veto lawmakers’ pay is not a distraction: “A lot of people in America don’t have a paycheck right now,” he said.