Pension Talks Continue Over Weekend

Story by Tony Arnold
January 04, 2013

Illinois lawmakers are still scrambling to find an agreement on how to reform the state’s massively underfunded pension systems.

Legislative leaders met for two hours Saturday behind closed doors to try to hammer out a compromised deal.

But House Speaker Michael Madigan says that deal didn’t come.

“I’m just anxious to pass a bill,” said Madigan. “I think that we ought to find a bill that we can all agree upon and pass that bill. Unfortunately there are still differences among the participants.”

Madigan said those disagreements are the same ones that have plagued pension negotiations for months.

Among the biggest concerns – is that the courts might say cutting state employees’ pensions is unconstitutional – undoing any progress made on pension reform.

Gov. Pat Quinn said Friday that a breakthrough came in negotiations when Madigan backed off a controversial proposal to shift the costs of teachers’ pensions onto school districts – something Quinn had supported.

Negotiations are scheduled to continue on Sunday.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio