Governor Pat Quinn has called members of the state legislature back to Springfield next month (August 17th) for a special session on government pensions. But it’s not clear lawmakers are prepared to vote on the issue.
There’s been a consensus among political leaders in Springfield that something has to be done about the state pension system. It’s estimated to be 83-billion dollars short of being able to meet its future obligations.
And yet, despite months of meetings among the governor and top legislative leaders … they still don’t agree on what to do.
Quinn says he’s calling the special session to try to force action.
QUINN “I think the way to look at it over these next couple of weeks is for the people of Illinois to put pressure on the legislature — their members of the legislature that are running for office in campaigns across Illinois … and I think this is a good time to say that, ‘This is a crying need of our state. We must act.’ “
Both Democrats and Republicans have said they support reducing benefits for current employees. The disagreement is over who should pay the employers’ retirement cost for public school teachers.
The state picks up the tab now; Democrats want local school districts to gradually take over the payments.
Republicans oppose that idea, saying it will lead to higher property taxes.