Peoria Public Radio Staff
Thu July 18, 2013
IL special pension committee meeting Friday
Illinois lawmakers on a special pension committee are scheduled to meet again Friday in Chicago. Members of the group say they're making progress toward a compromise, but as IPR’s Brian Mackey reports, some of their colleagues think they've found a way to reach a solution even faster:
The so-called "conference committee" on pensions will meet in private. But now a few Republican legislators are calling on Gov. Pat Quinn to take public action: they're asking him to call lawmakers into special session -- and keep them there until they pass something.
"There's no other time more uncomfortable to be in Springfield than the dead of July and August because it's so hot." Sen. Michael Connelly is a Republican from Lisle. He has the relatively rare distinction of having voted "yes" for both of the major competing pension proposals. Connelly says he thinks the special committee is far enough along to gather the full House and Senate. "And let's get everyone convened and focused as soon as possible so that we don't let this momentum die," Connelly says.
But conference committee vice-chair Elaine Nekritz, a Democratic representative from Northbrook, says the bipartisan group is working well together as is. "We've gone over the high-jump, and now we have a bunch of hurdles left," Nekritz says. She says trying to hammer out the details of a compromise with all 177 lawmakers would make crossing the finish line that much harder.