The state legislature wrapped up the spring session last night without passing legislation that will solve the state's growing pension problem. House Speaker Michael Madigan proposed a bill that would have cut the state's pension costs by shifting the burden onto local school districts and colleges. Republicans, including Glen Carbon's Dwight Kay, refused to accept the proposed measure. Instead others endorsed a similar bill presented by House Minority Leader Tom Cross that would have accomplished the same things without the cost shift. However, Cross' measure could not garner the necessary support from Democrats, forcing state leaders to table the issue.
Despite the setback, legislators were able to accomplish their other two goals during the session by approving a $2.7 billion plan to shore up Medicaid and by sending big pieces of a new budget to desk of Governor Pat Quinn.
Other measures that have been sent to Gov. Quinn for approval would expand casino gambling in the state by allowing slot machines at race tracks and establish five new casinos in Illinois. Another proposed bill would add a $2 fee to all license plates to help raise money for the deteriorating state parks.