Special session unlikely to produce agreement on pension reform

Jun 17, 2013

Get ready for Illinois lawmakers to leave Springfield later this week with no agreement on pension reform … again. IPR’S Tony Arnold reports.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has called pension reform his top priority the past two years. The state has about 100 billion dollars in debt related to retirement benefits, and that’s growing. But the top Democrats in the Senate and the House haven’t agreed on the best way to cut retirement benefits, creating a rift between allies.

 Last week, Quinn abandoned his strategy of trying to pass one bill with two different solutions to the pension crisis.

“There wasn’t a majority for that concept. So we can’t just fall in love with something that isn’t going to get a majority.”

But it’s not clear Quinn’s latest plan has a majority, either. He now wants the Senate to pass a bill it had previously rejected. To do that, he’d need 20 senators to flip their votes.

The top Democrat in the Senate says he’s not very optimistic that will happen.