The fall veto session begins tomorrow, but it’s unlikely this will be the week a pension solution comes together in the Illinois legislature.
The state’s pension systems are underfunded by $100 billion, but the Senate president’s been quoted as saying this isn’t a crisis – meaning, the state’s not shutting down today over this. The governor probably feels that’s an unfortunate choice of words, having placed a top priority on pensions.
But, to use a sports metaphor, the ball has spent a lot of time just short of the goal line.
“There’s disagreement, philosophically, over the impact to some of the pension benefits,” says State Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook), one of the ten members of a conference committee charged with putting something together. “It boils down to, in some ways, what is necessary to save to stabilize the pension systems themselves and protect taxpayers as well.”
The final three days of the session are in two weeks. The governor formed the pension conference committee after the legislature failed to come up with a solution in the spring.