Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
June 3, 2013
In this issue:
· Concealed Carry Bill Goes to Governor
· Budget Increases Spending
· Medicaid Expanded Despite Uncertain Cost
· Legislation Highlights of the Final Week
The Spring Legislative Session concluded on May 31 with passage of some significant legislation but I am very disappointed that Illinois’ number one issue—pension reform—remains unresolved. Unlike other difficult issues where there are negotiations and compromise, the leaders of each chamber became so enamored with their solution they would not compromise. During this year’s session, the House approved four different pension bills and sent them to the Senate where the main bill, SB1, was defeated 16-42. The Senate approved its own pension bill and sent it to the House where Speaker Madigan refused to call it for debate.
Now, perhaps, the legislative leaders will back off and allow their members to craft a bill with all the parties in what generally works—comprise—to reach the important goal.
The final bill to come before the House Friday provided a heated debate over allowing the Chicago Public Schools to skip another pension payment for its workers. The majority party violated several house rules in order to bring the pension holiday bill for a vote and then soundly defeated it. It was ironic that what has gotten the state into a severe pension crisis was being proposed for Chicago. Apparently the drama was meant to send a statement to the Mayor of Chicago who controls the school system.
Then there were emotional speeches by advocates for same sex marriage about why their bill didn’t come to a vote and the hope it would be back this fall. Hundreds of advocates and all the major news media came to Springfield on Friday to see the vote.
Concealed Carry Bill Goes to Governor
With eight days remaining until the federal-court deadline for concealed carry in Illinois, the General Assembly on Friday sent a “shall-issue” carry bill to Governor Quinn for his signature. Negotiations on a compromise bill took place all week and final action in both chambers occurred quickly on Friday. Read more →