Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan says lawmakers are still not close to reaching a deal on pension reform. He spoke briefly with reporters before a groundbreaking for a new charter school in his Chicago district:
"No, we're not close to an agreement. It a difficult issue. I think the issue has to be shaped, adequately discussed, but we have to bring some honesty into the debate."
Madigan reiterated a stand that downstate and suburban school districts should pay for their own teacher pensions. Right now, the state funds the teacher retirement system. Pension reform has been a sticking point in balancing Illinois' budget.
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