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Pension Panel Makes Slow Progress

Thu, 15 Aug 2013 04:11:40 CDT
By: IPR's Brian Mackey

A group of Illinois lawmakers trying to come up with a compromise pension fix met yesterday in Springfield. As IPR's Brian Mackey reports, they say they're still slowly making progress:

Democrats and Republicans on the special pension committee are in agreement on at least one thing:

NEKRITZ: "Some days it's two steps forward, one step back."

BRADY: "Seems like we take two steps forward and one step back."

That's Democratic Rep. Elaine Nekritz, from Northbrook; and Republican Sen. Bill Brady, from Bloomington. They agree on more than just the metaphor they chose to describe their latest meeting. They also remain optimistic they'll reach a compromise ... but say they don't like how long it's taking. Here's Nekritz again:

NEKRITZ: "We all feel frustration at the pace, but I'm not sure how to change that, given the complexity of everything and the delicacy of the negotiations."

The 10-member conference committee is trying to resolve the impasse over what to do about Illinois' nearly $100 billion in unfunded pension obligations. Brady says members of committee will next meet with their House and Senate colleagues to get a feel for what they will or won't support.

BRADY: "Hopefully we'll meet next week and be able to come to some consensus on that list of issues that are still pending."

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