Lawmakers skeptical new pension deal can pass this spring

  • FILE - In a Feb. 18, 2015, file photo, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, left, and Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, talk during a meeting of the General Assembly in Springfield, Ill. The Illinois Supreme Court struck down a 2013 law that sought to fix the nation's worst government-employee pension crisis, a ruling that forces the state to find another way to overcome a massive budget deficit Friday May 8, 2015. The decree puts new Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the General Assembly back at the starting line in trying to figure out how to wrestle down a $111 billion deficit in what's necessary to cover its state employee retirement obligations.

    FILE - In a Feb. 18, 2015, file photo, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, left, and Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, talk during a meeting of the General Assembly in Springfield, Ill. The Illinois Supreme Court struck down a 2013 law that sought to fix the nation's worst government-employee pension crisis, a ruling that forces the state to find another way to overcome a massive budget deficit Friday May 8, 2015. The decree puts new Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the General Assembly back at the starting line in trying to figure out how to wrestle down a $111 billion deficit in what's necessary to cover its state employee retirement obligations.

 
Associated Press
Updated 5/13/2015 2:40 PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Some Illinois lawmakers are skeptical the Legislature can pass a new pension overhaul this spring despite pressure from Gov. Bruce Rauner and major credit rating agencies.

Democratic Rep. Elaine Nekritz is chairwoman of the House pension committee, which is holding a hearing Wednesday. She calls the odds of a deal before the session ends May 31 "slim."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Illinois Supreme Court last week ruled a 2013 pension overhaul unconstitutional.

Rauner wants legislators to approve a proposal to let workers keep benefits earned to date but move them to a less-generous plan going forward. He also wants a constitutional amendment to allow future benefits to be cut.

Senate President John Cullerton is pitching his own plan. But his spokeswoman says "what's important is to get it right," not a specific timeline.

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