Illinois' target date for a vote on pension reform comes at a convenient time for incumbents.
“Please reserve Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, as a possible day to return to Springfield for Session,” reads a message emailed to House Democrats Wednesday from Speaker Mike Madigan’s office.
Lawmakers also were told “to keep other days that week available for session should this schedule change.”
The Dec. 3 target date comes the day after nominating petitions are due for the 2014 primary ballot. That means incumbents may be spared from challengers upset with the pension reform compromise.
The four leaders met Wednesday and “continued to make progress on pension reform,” according to representatives from both parties.
Senate President John Cullerton said he is surveying his members for scheduling purposes, but as one Republican staffer notes, “If Madigan said so then it must be so.”
The Illinois General Assembly is trying to find a way to deal with a 100 billion dollar pension deficit.