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Quinn, Legislative Leaders to Meet to Discuss Pension Reform
Democratic state leaders are scrapping one of the sticking points that Republicans objected to in order to reach a deal on pension reform.
Gov. Pat Quinn will meet with legislative leaders Saturday to work on finding a fix for the state's $96 billion pension deficit.
House Speaker Michael Madigan said lawmakers can figure out how to pay for pension reform later. But getting a plan on paper now to fix the five state systems is more important than anything else.
That's why he and Quinn are taking a proposal off the table to shift costs for downstate teachers' pensions to local school districts.
Quinn is asking lawmakers to pass pension reform before the current legislative session ends next week.
The House is scheduled to return to the capitol Sunday.
The Senate could return Tuesday, but the leader of that chamber
said Thursday night he doesn't anticipate calling lawmakers back.
Rep. Raymond Poe said it's important for everyone to get on the same page.
He wondered if lawmakers can get a plan passed in the next five days.
"It seems to me like once we start introducing new bills, it'll take the spring to get through the whole process and get all the groups on board," Poe said. "We need to solve this problem. We need everybody to get together, be part of the action."
A group of House lawmakers introduced a plan last month that would raise the retirement age for teachers and state employees, and require them to contribute more.
Senate President John Cullerton is still pushing for lawmakers to pass a bill the Senate approved last spring that would change the framework for two of the five pension systems.