Negotiations for a complete overhaul of Illinois' underfunded pension systems continue. But the president of the state Senate is again pushing a measure his chamber approved months ago.
Governor Pat Quinn has been adamant that something pass before the General Assembly's current session ends for good on Wednesday.
In May, the Senate passed legislation that reduces state workers' and legislators' own retirement benefits. But the House never took it up. Senate President John Cullerton says representatives should do so when they return to Springfield on Sunday.
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.
The chances of quick action on Illinois' pension problems are growing slimmer.
Gov. Pat Quinn said Friday that he believes a pension overhaul can be passed by the end of the legislative session, which is in January. The Democratic governor wants action "as soon as possible," but his remarks did not suggest that will happen this fall.
His comments come a day after Senate President John Cullerton told the Chicago Tribune he doesn't think a pension overhaul can pass until January, when legislative rules mean passage requires fewer votes.