The News-Gazette

Editorial: Slow going on pension fix

Monday, August 19, 2013

Progress on a pension reform plan is coming in fits and starts for a legislative panel directed to come up with a solution.
Illinois' impending public pension disaster has made a lot of news over the past six weeks, but mostly for reasons not associated with a fix.
Legislators have repeatedly failed to face up to this vexing financial problem, most recently during a special session of the House and Senate called in June by Gov. Pat Quinn. Rather than give up entirely, legislative leaders formed a special conference committee made up of members from both houses and decided to try yet again to come up with a solution that can win majority support.
Their work has since been overshadowed because of a political tug-of-war between Quinn and legislators that erupted when Quinn decreed that legislators would not receive their monthly paychecks until they solve the pension problem. So far, they've been denied their July checks, and they are expected to be denied their August paychecks.
Outraged over Quinn's salary decision, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton have filed a lawsuit challenging Quinn's decision to withhold their pay as unconstitutional. It's not, but that's another issue altogether.