Some unfinished business awaits members of the Illinois General Assembly this summer. House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), while congratulating his members on a productive spring session, said it was disappointing that the House could not put together a pension restructuring plan. It’s likely a special session will address pensions this summer.
The session ended after House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) announced that Gov. Pat Quinn had asked him not to call the bill. The night before, Madigan said Quinn had asked him to drop from the bill a cost shift to local schools. When Madigan did that, he made Cross the new sponsor. It became apparent neither version had the minimum sixty votes necessary to pass, though Cross said he could have come up with thirty on his party’s side.
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On behalf of a union coalition, AFL-CIO Illinois president Michael Carrigan issued an e-mailed statement:
“Our coalition is committed to reaching a real solution that can become law. We stand ready to get back to work immediately to protect the modest pensions public employees rely on and ensure guaranteed adequate funding for the retirement systems going forward."
SB 1673 was the bill the House had been discussing.