The deficit of state employee retirement systems has
now topped more than 96 billion dollars.
Governor Pat Quinn has called it
But how close are they to actually fixing the system and do they have enough time before the end of the lame duck session?
With just five days until the current legislative session ends, and the senate having already adjourned, Governor Quinn plans to hold a special meeting Saturday in hopes that party leaders will strike a deal on pension reform.
"I think we're on the eve of collaboration," said Quinn.
On Friday Quinn met with suburban GOP leaders to try and craft a comprehensive pension reform bill.
"It was bi-partisan in
But the effort might be too little too late to pass during the lame duck session.
"To have a problem this big and to try to address it in one day, I don't think that's realistic," said senator Dave Syverson.
A major road block has been House Speaker Michael Madigan's plan to shift teacher pension funding from the state to school districts. But Quinn says Madigan has agreed to defer that discussion until later, with the hope that both parties can pass some type pension reform to ease the state's stress.
"We would still keep working on that issue," said Quinn. "We would pay attention to that issue, but it was such a paramount importance that we act now to begin that process of pension reform."
However, it's an issue Syverson wants to see addressed now. Since more responsible school districts end up having to pick up part of the tab for those that choose to give school leaders larger salaries.
"We continue to subsidize higher pensions for suburbanites
Still, Quinn says he believes a bi-partisan bill that will guarantee payment and ensures money going out equals money coming in, is within reach.
But Syverson's not so optimistic and says that a guaranteed pension payment doesn't necessarily mean people will get what they previously were entitled to.
"They're talking about a no-pain solution," said Syverson. "And there is no such thing as a no-pain solution. So, they say 'lets fix it now, then we'll figure out how to pay for it later,' well pay for it later never happens," said Syverson.
If some sort of deal is
within the reach, Quinn will have to call a special session to get all state
senators back to