The Illinois Senate returns to the Capitol on Wednesday to begin a weeklong legislative session that could take up pension reform, legalizing gay marriage and banning assault rifles.
The 97th General Assembly will finish its work Jan. 9 when a new Legislature is sworn in. That means there are many lame-duck lawmakers not returning who might feel less constrained to vote for contentious issues. The House comes in Sunday.
Gov. Pat Quinn has made it a priority for the assembly to find a solution to the state employee retirement programs that are underfunded by $96 billion.
Illinois legislators are scheduled to go back to Springfield this week to tackle any bills the governor vetoed this year.
Of the major legislation the governor vetoed - one big issue that's had all sorts of trouble getting support is gambling expansion. The measure Governor Pat Quinn vetoed would allow for several new casinos in the state - including one in Chicago. But Quinn has said the bill is flawed - with, quote, "loopholes for mobsters" - but a sponsor of the measure says he's close to having enough votes to override the governor's opposition.