Lawmakers have less than two weeks before their scheduled adjournment, and the governor wants to make sure they’re on the right track. Governor Pat Quinn wants this to be an “epic” end to the legislative session, starting this week with pension and Medicaid restructuring. He says pension negotiations are ongoing, and wants teachers, judges, lawmakers and all state employees who will be affected in the proposals.
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“Everybody in, nobody left out,” Quinn said, repeating a familiar adage. “We’ve got to have pension reform that I think is bold, and necessary, to make Illinois a better state.” Quinn hopes a pension bill will surface later this week. Meanwhile, Quinn’s office has crafted a proposal to save about $2.7 billion in the Medicaid system through a mixture of cuts and new revenue. Much of the new revenue hinges on a cigarette tax increase, which will be dealt with separately. The 474-page proposal will start moving through the House this week – possibly by Wednesday or Thursday. Quinn reminded lawmakers other areas of the budget will be cut if $2.7 billion in Medicaid savings isn’t realized. The governor’s Medicaid proposal is Senate Bill 2840, House Amendment 3.