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Wed July 3, 2013
Stalemate On When Pension Stalemate Must End
Gov. Pat Quinn's office says his July 9 deadline for a pension overhaul stands, even though the leader of a special legislative panel formed to come up with a solution says there's no way to meet it.
It was a similar story about this time last year.
The General Assembly adjourned without passing legislation to reduce Illinois' pension costs, prompting Gov. Pat Quinn to set his own deadline. Legislators didn't get it done by June 30 of 2012. And according to Sen. Kwame Raoul, who chairs the special pension committee, they won't get it done by this Tuesday, July 9 either. In a nod to those previous missed deadlines, Raoul says he expects Quinn to be flexible again. "The Governor has said a lot of things over the years that have been inconsistent with one another," Raoul says. "And so I appreciate his ability ... Not just a woman has a prerogative to change her mind. A Governor has that prerogative as well." A comment Raoul, like Quinn, a Democrat from Chicago, says he didn't mean as a dig. Rather, he says the governor has asked for an actuarial analysis of his proposed changes to government workers' retirement benefits. Raoul says the committee's settling on its own plan as well. He says savings projections won't be ready by July 9. But the governor's office says it's latest deadline is firm,and legislators should stop making excuses. Though he has been asked, Quinn has not said what he will do if lawmakers miss his latest deadline.The pension committee is scheduled to meet again in Springfield on Monday, and the full General Assembly's back Tuesday.