CHICAGO, July 9 Illinois lawmakers on Tuesday
missed a deadline set by Governor Pat Quinn to enact pension
reform, leaving a bipartisan conference committee to continue
working to reach a compromise.
Illinois is struggling with a nearly $100 billion unfunded
liability for its five retirement funds. Lawmakers ended the
spring legislative session on May 31 at an impasse on pension
reform. Pension payments are squeezing spending for core state
services, such as education and healthcare.
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives and Senate
met on Tuesday to override Quinn's veto of gun legislation then
adjourned without action on pension reform.
The 10-member conference committee, comprised of members
from both chambers, made it clear during a meeting Monday that
it would have no bill ready in time for Tuesday's one-day
legislative session. The panel is awaiting actuarial reports on
projected savings from various proposed reforms.
"Every time we've had a deadline, the legislature's ignored
it, or broken through that deadline, bad things have happened
for the taxpayers of Illinois," Quinn said at a news conference
following the adjournment. He mentioned downgrades by major
credit rating agencies that have left Illinois with the lowest
ratings among states due to its continued inaction to curb
The Democratic governor said he is giving lawmakers until
midnight Tuesday then, "we'll see what happens."