The Illinois House has adjourned, the so-called "lame-duck" session is over, without a full House vote taken on any pension reform proposals. That means all pension talks during the 97th General Assembly are kicked to the curb. It all starts over again after new legislators are sworn in Wednesday.
Here's how far state leaders got before the session ended at 5 p.m. Tuesday. There was a proposal on the table to create a pension reform commission. The eight-member panel would have until the end of April to come up with recommendations for solutions. Some top lawmakers feared this move would be illegal, but House Speaker Michael Madigan adjourned the chamber before the full House could take a vote. Major changes had been made to the proposal last week when lawmakers took out shifting public school teachers' pension costs from the state to local districts. One local state says ending the session without a vote adds to the problem.
"I'm extremely disappointed we didn't vote on what is a monumental issue and problem in the state of Illinois. If we don't address pensions, the crushing debt will just continue to eat up other parts of the budget. It's really a shame that the Speaker's office refused to call any of the pension bills. I think at the very least we should've had an up or down vote and see where everybody stands on the issue." -says 69th District Representative Joe Sosnowski.
Sponsors of the proposal to create a pension commission say they'll try reintroducing the bill as early as Wednesday afternoon.
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