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Quinn wants pension action in August

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he wants action on the state’s pension crisis at the end of the month, but that timeline is up in the air.

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Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he wants action on the state’s pension crisis at the end of the month, but that timeline is up in the air.

Lawmakers have spent a lot of time this summer haggling over how to pay for the state’s massive unfunded retirement costs - some $83 billion worth.

One idea is to make downstate and suburban school districts and universities pay their own pension costs, rather than the state. Lawmakers have now been studying that idea for weeks, much to the governor’s chagrin.

“We’re not just gonna study the issue all summer,” Quinn said Monday. “I think it’s time for the legislators to wrap up the studyin,’ and I think by the end of the month that’s plenty of time.”

Not so fast, said State Rep. Darlene Senger, R- Naperville, who was one of the lawmakers working to draft a pension reform bill.

“Given we - we don’t have consensus on this shifting of costs...I don’t see it happening” by the end of the month, Senger said.

Even if there isn’t a pension solution by the end of July, Quinn won’t say when he’d call a special session as he’d previously suggested. But some lawmakers have said fixing the crisis could be easier after November’s elections.

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