The Pantagraph

Editorial: Dear Committee: It’s time to fish — or cut bait

Monday, June 24, 2013

It’s a sad commentary on Illinois politics that the forming of a conference committee to study a $97 billion problem that’s been well known for years is seen as progress.
But that’s the situation the state finds itself in. At a special session Wednesday — which cost the state’s taxpayer $40,000 — the House and Senate formally disagreed on any type of pension solution and established a conference committee. This committee of 10 — which includes Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington — is charged with putting together a solution to the state’s massive pension obligation.
Gov. Pat Quinn has given the General Assembly a deadline of July 9 to place a plan on his desk. The General Assembly has a habit of ignoring his wishes. However, urgency is required. The pension problem worsens by an estimated $17 million a day.
And the issues are well known. As House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, said: “Everybody knows the issues. There’s nothing new. We’ve had blue ribbon panels. We’ve had task forces. We’ve had summits. We’ve had backroom meetings. We’ve had out-in-the-open meetings. We’ve had committee hearings.”