Democrats battle themselves on Chicago schools pension bill

Democrats battle themselves on Chicago schools pension bill
Illinois State Capitol Building WBEZ/Tim Akimoff
Democrats battle themselves on Chicago schools pension bill
Illinois State Capitol Building WBEZ/Tim Akimoff

Democrats battle themselves on Chicago schools pension bill

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois House has turned back a plea from Chicago Public Schools for more time before making a pension payment of more than $600 million due by June 30.

The cash-strapped school district — the third-largest in the nation — wanted 40 days to figure out a way to meet the giant contribution without making deep educational cuts.

The measure failed 53-46, falling short of the 71 necessary.

Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, a Chicago Democrat, says the legislation would delay the payment until after summer revenues arrive and give school officials a chance to come up with an alternative financial plan.

Interim schools CEO Jesse Ruiz told lawmakers that drastic schoolroom cuts could be necessary without a delay.