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Sun May 26, 2013
A Full Legislative Agenda With Only Five Days Left
There are five days left in the Illinois General Assembly's spring session. Legislators have a lot of work ahead of them. The House adjourns on Memorial Day at noon; the Senate convenes at 4 p.m.
Typically, fighting over the budget carries into the waning hours of a legislative session.
But Democrats - who have enough seats to pass a spending plan without any Republican votes - say they've already reached a deal.
At least, in principle. Their plan - which limits cuts to schools and universities - could still break down.
After all, while five days is a short while to deal with complex and controversial issues, it's also plenty of time for tempers to flare and for devils hidden in details to rear their horns.
As they return to the Capitol this Memorial Day, the Senate and House remain divided over how to cut Illinois' pension costs. The chambers are also at loggerheads on how to comply with a federal court order legalizing concealed carry.
The House has yet to vote on same-sex marriage, and on a plan that would give Chicago, Danville and Rockford casinos.
Other outstanding issues include potentially expanding Medicaid to cover low-income adults without children, how to manage the drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing and potentially deregulating telecom -- which would let phone companies discontinue landline service.