State Representative Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) will serve on a committee charged with addressing the state's looming pension liability, which is an estimated $97 billion.
The committee comes at the request of Governor Pat Quinn, who is trying to end the stalemate between House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago). Both have pushed for their own version of a pension solution.
Cullerton thinks the committee is a step in the right direction, but will it be the final push needed to pass a comprehensive pension fix?
“No, not the fact that we have a conference committee,” Cullerton said. “That was the Governor's request and just another way of getting to a vote for a bill.”
It's been years since legislators have resorted to the political maneuver of conference committees. It's not entirely clear how a committee of lawmakers will be able to come to an agreement when their leaders continue to have opposing views on solving the problem.
Cullerton and Madigan each chose three members to the committee and the legislature’s Republican leaders each appointed two lawmakers to the ten-member committee.
It was not immediately clear when they will first meet, but Governor Pat Quinn set July 9 as a deadline for coming up with a compromise.
The committee members are:
Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook
Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Riverside
Rep. Art Turner, D-Chicago
Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago
Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston
Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora
Rep. Darlene Senger, R-Naperville
Rep. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy
Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine
Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington