Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Illinois Lawmakers Return for Pension Special Session




    State lawmakers on Friday again will attempt to take on one of the biggest and most expensive issues facing Illinois.

    Gov. Pat Quinn has called back lawmakers for a special session to tackle a public pension deficit that tops $80 billion. 

    Quinn Talks Pension Reform

    [CHI] Quinn Talks Pension Reform
    Governor Pat Quinn says the state's pension costs jump by $12 million each day and says the upcoming special session, not post-election, is the time to pass reform. Mary Ann Ahern reports. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012)

    As of early this week, the four top legislative leaders did not have a solution to the problem. They gathered Friday morning at the capitol prior to the 1 p.m. start of the session. 

    Quinn carried two file folders "full of ideas" into the meeting. He said the time to act is here.

    Quinn, Lawmakers Meet to Discuss Pension Reform

    [CHI] Quinn, Lawmakers Meet to Discuss Pension Reform
    Illinois officials emerged from a closed-door meeting Wednesday divided over the next steps in solving the state's most pressing financial issue: somehow closing an $83 billion funding gap for its retirement systems. (Published Wednesday, June 6, 2012)

    "We will tell leaders this is our hour, and our moment to act for the common good," he told reporters on the wat to the meeting.

    Efforts to scale back how public pensions are funded failed in the regular spring session. Most Springfield observers cast heavy doubt on any action until after the November election.

    Quinn says the state's pension costs will jump by $12 million each day the issue isn't solved.

    At the State Fair this week Quinn was booed by labor members who have fought plans to change or reduce their pensions. Another protest is expected Friday at the state capitol.