UPDATE: Lawmakers Vow to Introduce Pension Reform Bill
The Illinois House adjourned Tuesday afternoon without taking a vote on Gov. Pat Quinn's last-ditch effort to get a pension deal done before the end of the lame duck session.
Seeing that legislators weren't making headway on reforming the state's various ailing systems, Quinn on Tuesday proposed to the legislature the creation of a bi-partisan pension commission.
That commission would have been tasked with studying the issue over the period of three months and crafting legislation that could pass both chambers.
"We have to take an extraordinary action to break the gridlock," Quinn said after it became clear that Speaker of the House Michael Madigan would not call pension legislation to the floor.
The governor modeled his proposal after the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1990, which created an independent and law writing commission to decide on which US military bases to close while remaining above political fray.
Under Quinn's plan, each house leader would have appointed two members each to the commission. The picks didn't not need to be chosen from among political ranks.
"Adults who live in Illinois and are not registered lobbyists," Quinn said would be the only requirements.
The commission then would have had until April 30th to create a report of what should be done. That report wouldn't require votes to pass. A constitutional majority of both houses, however, could have vetoed it.
"That commission become the law," Quinn said.
Organized labor was no fan of the proposal.
"A desperate Hail Mary Pass" said Michael Kerrigan, the president of the Illinois AFL-CIO. "Labor is very, very opposed."