Gov. Calls For Pension Fix Despite Shortened Session

Governor Pat Quinn says even with a reduced schedule, the Illinois legislature still must solve the state’s pension funding problem in the first days of the new year. Brian Mackey has more: The House and Senate have cut their January lame-duck session in half. Now, instead of a week, lawmakers have just three days to try to pass laws legalizing gay marriage and medical marijuana, banning assault weapons, and creating drivers licenses for immigrants who are in Illinois illegally. Quinn says those are important issues legislators should address promptly. QUINN: “But I don’t think the legislature should use that as a way of not addressing the most pressing challenge we have, which is to reform and stabilize the pension system so we have adequate money for our schools, our public health, our public safety.” Quinn says the pension issue cannot wait until the spring legislative session, because credit agencies are once again poised to downgrade Illinois’ credit rating. Illinois’ government pensions are the worst-funded in the nation, with liabilities projected at $97 billion.

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