Quinn unhappy pensions may wait until next year

Published: Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 5:30 a.m.CDT

SPRINGFIELD – The chances of quick action on Illinois’ pension problems are growing slimmer.

Gov. Pat Quinn said Friday that he believes a pension overhaul can be passed by the end of the legislative session, which isn’t until January. The Democratic governor wants action “as soon as possible,” but nothing in his remarks suggested he expects that to happen this fall.

“I’m optimistic we will, by the end of this legislative session, get fundamental pension reform. It’s absolutely imperative for the people of Illinois, for the common good,” Quinn said after an appearance in Chicago.

His comments came a day after Senate President John Cullerton said he doesn’t expect a pension vote until January, when legislative rules mean passage requires fewer votes. That would also be after the fall elections but before new legislators are sworn in.

“The earliest we can pass pension reform as a practical matter is Jan. 1,” Cullerton told the Chicago Tribune editorial board. House Speaker Michael Madigan has hinted at the same timetable.

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