Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan presents the conference committee report on Senate Bill 1, the legislation overhauling Illinois pensions. Madigan says "hopefully the Court will rule in favor of the constitutionality of the bill."
Illinois legislators may have passed a pension overhaul, but unions representing teachers and public employees have vowed to sue to stop it from taking effect. If they're successful, that could force lawmakers to go back to the drawing board.
Lawmakers made preemptive efforts to fend off a legal challenge. The measure contains a statement that details the terrible condition of Illinois' finances and what lawmakers have tried to do about it -- a clear attempt to justify cutting pension benefits.
The Illinois General Assembly approved sweeping cuts to state employee pensions Tuesday. The move comes after years of stalemate over how to address a hundred-billion dollar liability — the worst-funded pension plans of any state.
Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, is the sponsor of a Senate bill to give ADM a tax credit in exchange for creating new jobs in Chicago and Decatur, if the company moves its global headquarters from Decatur to Chicago.
While much of the attention was focused on pensions, state legislators yesterday also dealt with measures intended to get a trio of companies to call Illinois home. But they only got halfway there.
Decatur-based Archer Daniels Midland is shopping for a new world headquarters. The agribusiness giant may well choose Chicago; but it wants a tax break from Illinois, like in a measure approved by the Senate.
The Illinois General Assembly has approved sweeping changes to pensions for state employees. Governor Pat Quinn says he will sign the legislation. It's intended to fix the worst-funded state retirement system in the country.
Illinois is roughly $100 billion short of the money it promised to pay state employees, university workers, and public school teachers.
After years of debate, lawmakers finally agreed on a solution to the problem: cutting benefits, mainly by reducing the three-percent annual increase retirees have gotten on their pensions.
Illinois' House Speaker told a bipartisan legislative committee that the state's pension systems are ``just too rich'' to be afforded in the future. Madigan is a Chicago Democrat and the state's longest-serving House Speaker. He says Tuesday that a $160 billion reform proposal was designed to keep long-term low-income workers in mind.
House Speaker Michael Madigan says the vote on a pension deal will be ``very difficult'' when lawmakers gather for a special session next week. Madigan spoke to reporters Wednesday after legislative leaders said they agreed on a proposal that will help solve Illinois' $100 billion pension crisis.
Gov. Pat Quinn says next week is another opportunity to tackle the state's $100 billion pension crisis. Legislative leaders have been negotiating on a plan, which could come up next week if there's a special session in Springfield. House Speaker Michael Madigan has told representatives to be ready for a one-day session next Tuesday. The Senate has tentatively set some days aside next week.
However, details about the plan haven't been released publicly and legislative leaders say they're still hammering out issues.
The Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield plans a special prayer service the day same-sex marriage is to be signed into law. He says it's "scandalous" that so many Catholic politicians supported the legislation.
Gov. Pat Quinn is planning a big public ceremony to sign the same-sex marriage bill next Wednesday (Nov. 20) in Chicago.
The city of Chicago had a setback in Springfield Thursday.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been pushing to increase prison sentences for people convicted of gun crimes. But on the last day of the Illinois legislature's fall veto session, a group of African-American legislators used a parliamentary maneuver to block him.
Such tactics are not uncommon in politics — but this was a rare example of Illinois Democrats pulling a fast one on members of their own party.
The problem of violence that plagues parts of Chicago is national news.
House Speaker Michael Madigan says he's prepared to pass a ``meaningful'' pension reform bill, and he hopes it will happen before the end of the year.
The Chicago Democrat says legislative leaders are waiting for actuaries to crunch numbers on some proposals they're considering. Once they have the information he hopes lawmakers can return to Springfield and approve a bill.
Henry Bayer is the Executive Director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31. The role puts the union leader in the middle of several battles over benefits and working conditions. That includes the current dispute involving public pensions.
It is approaching four months since the Illinois General Assembly adjourned its spring session. Lawmakers have missed two paychecks since the governor decided to punish them for not passing a pension overhaul. And a special committee has been negotiating over how to solve the pension problem for more than 12 weeks. Amanda Vinicky checks in with members of that committee for a progress report.
Many of Illinois' top Democrats met in Springfield Sunday to pick a slate of statewide candidates. Although several politicians had considered challenging Gov. Pat Quinn in next year's primary, they all backed off by the time of Sunday's meeting.
From the tone at Sunday's meeting, you'd never know a week before, Quinn was facing a tough primary fight. But then Bill Daley dropped out.
You'd also never know Quinn has spent months berating state lawmakers over guns and pensions.
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin speaks at a previous meeting of leading Democrats - the party's county chairmen - in Springfield this summer. Durbin, who's running for re-election, is expected to attend Sunday's meeting of the Democratic State Central Committee in Springfield. He faces no primary challenge.
Illinois' leading Democrats will meet in Springfield on Sunday. They're supposed to decide endorse candidates for next year's primary election ... even though there are no longer any competitive races.
Democrats have rarely slated candidates in recent years.
But this time - with incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn facing a primary challenge from former U.S. Commerce Secretary Bill Daley - the state party was going to consider picking a favorite.
Attorneys for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton will be in Cook County Circuit Court Tuesday to try and force Gov. Pat Quinn and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka to issue legislators' paychecks.
Last month, Quinn cut $13.8 million for legislators' paychecks in the state budget. He'd threatened consequences if lawmakers failed to act on addressing the pension problem. When a bipartisan pension failed to meet a deadline, Quinn cut their salaries.