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Legislature, controversy return to Springfield

Mon, 16 Apr 2012 10:20:23 CDT

After a two-week spring break, state legislators are returing, and they're slated to get right down to business. Governor Pat Quinn issued a sort of directive to legislators during his budget address in February. He declared that they must make fundamental changes to the state's pension and Medicaid systems, or he'll keep them in Springfield until it's done. Since them, groups of legislators have been meeting to tackle those topics, and this week, they're expected to come forward with their ideas. Quinn could come out with plans of his own, too:

     "Gotta get it done. You know, it's imperative, we've got to have fundamental overhaul in both of those systems in order to have a decent, a decent state."

But collective bargaining issues could take center stage instead. Unions are set to protest Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who is crossing the border to speak with the state Chamber of Commerce in Springfield.   Walker could be upstaged if indicted State Representative Derrick Smith returns to the capitol, as his attorney has suggested. Smith has been absent since his arrest for allegedly taking a bribe.

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