IL Lawmakers continue pension talks

Jul 11, 2013

Governor Pat Quinn may have rebuffed legislators' efforts at finding a pension solution and cancelled their pay.  But lawmakers key to negotiations are continuing talks anyway.  IPR’s Amanda Vinicky reports: 

When the Governor cut legislators' salaries as a sort of punishment for their not passing a measure to bring down the state's pension costs, he didn't pick and choose. There was no mercy for legislators who had voted for controversial pension plans - including one Quinn had supported - but which didn't fully advance. Nor did he make an exception for the legislators who've attended countless meetings as part of special panels formed by the Governor.

Legislators like Senator Daniel Biss, a Democrat from Evanston. Despite Quinn's criticism that legislators aren't doing this jobs, Biss says:

"There is not a day that goes by when I'm not talking with other members of the conference committee, and working on this issue.  Every single day I either have a few meetings, or a few phone calls, or am pouring over data.  And usual it's several of those different things. This is an urgent problem.  All ten members of the conference committee are viewing it as an urgent problem.  And we're going to work as quickly as possible to solve it."

Although the bipartisan, bicameral conference committee has only met three times in public, members are meeting more frequently in small groups.  Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a Democrat from Northbrook, says she expects the committee will put forth a plan within a couple of weeks.