Pension reform in August?
The Illinois House's planned return to Springfield Aug. 17 to deal with the possible expulsion of state Rep. Derrick Smith has led to some speculation that lawmakers could deal with pension reform that day, too.
With the Senate not planning to meet the same day, the only plan they could send to Gov. Pat Quinn in one day is the pension changes already approved by the Illinois Senate - cutting benefits of lawmakers and state workers, but leaving teachers alone for now.
State Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat, has called for just that today, asking House Speaker Michael Madigan to call the proposal for a vote before the November elections.
In Illinois, our chickens have come home to roost. Springfield can no longer postpone the tough decision that it has been avoiding for years. The time for pension funding reform is now.
Madigan, though, has been steadfast in wanting a pension proposal that shifts the future cost of teachers' pensions from the state to local school districts, which isn't included in the Senate plan Kotowski's talking about.