Illinois lawmakers are halfway through their spring legislative session, and there’s still a lot of work to do.   Political expert Bob Rich, director of the Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs, says the first half of session has historically been spent sending bills through first readings and committee hearings, paving the way for action in the second half. This year is no exception… but Rich wonders when looming pension and Medicaid deficits will be addressed.


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“I think they will have all the preparation they’ll need to act,” he says. “The question will be, are they going to do this now before May 31? Or are they going to do it in the lame duck session? I wouldn’t want to predict which way it’s going to go.”   Rich says a widespread education campaign, such as those exhibited in anti-smoking and anti-drunk driving, efforts would be useful to educate more Illinoisans about what exactly, for example, unfunded pension liabilities mean to them. A more informed electorate could ratchet up the pressure to get things done.


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