WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Illinois Pension Committee Will Miss Deadline

Jul 3, 2013

The leader of a special legislative panel formed to come up with a solution to Illinois’ pension crisis said there's no way to meet the governor’s July 9 deadline.

It sounds similar to the story about this time last year, when the General Assembly adjourned without passing legislation to reduce Illinois' pension costs. That prompted Governor Pat Quinn to set his own deadline of June 30, 2012. 

A rare bipartisan committee comprised of equal members of the Illinois House and Senate met for the second time in Chicago to discuss possible solutions to Illinois' underfunded pension systems.
Credit Amanda Vinicky/Illinois Public Radio

That deadline came and went without a plan being approved.

And according to Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), who chairs the special pension committee, the deadline will come and go without a plan this year too. 

In a nod to those previous missed deadlines, Raoul said he expects Quinn to be flexible again.

“The Governor has said a lot of things over the years that have been inconsistent with one another,” Raoul said.

“And so I appreciate his ability.  Not just a woman has a prerogative to change her mind.  A Governor has that prerogative as well."

Raoul said the comment is not intended to be a dig.  Rather, he said, the governor has asked for an actuarial analysis of his proposed changes to government workers’ retirement benefits. Raoul said that will take time.

Raoul said the committee is settling on its own plan as well, but the projections on the savings won't be ready by July 9. 

Meanwhile, the governor's office said its latest deadline is firm, and legislators should stop making excuses.   

Quinn has not said what he will do if lawmakers miss his latest deadline.

The pension committee is scheduled to meet again in Springfield on Monday, and the full General Assembly will be back Tuesday.