Fair
55°
Sandwich, IL
Fair|Forecast »

Lame duck session ends with little fanfare

Despite hopes that the final days of the 97th General Assembly might bring resolution to several critical social and fiscal issues, it ended on Jan. 8 without debate or votes. Many expected the legislature, with so many members ending their service, would act on controversial issues.

In addition, efforts to pass supplemental funding for such programs as mental health, human services, education and capital projects failed to garner enough support for action. The body seemed tired and responded to a lack of strong direction from legislative leaders.

As if to defend the productivity of the 97th General Assembly, Speaker Mike Madigan recalled major legislation that did pass in the last two years during his inauguration speech. He recalled the budget appropriation that was balanced for the second year in a row, workman compensation changes intended to lower costs to employers and Medicaid reforms intended to reduce spending, although many reforms are yet to be implemented.



Pension reform stalls again

Because no pension solution was passed during the lame duck session, the state’s bond rating has been lowered by one rating service which is expected to raise the cost of borrowing money for every unit of government.

There are many solutions being proposed that garner a lot of support. The annual pension costs must be paid each year and if not, employees should be able to find relief in the courts. Increased state funding could come by redirecting $2.7 billion in annual bond payments to the pension accounts as those bonds mature.

With everyone at the table, I remain optimistic that a fair pension solution can be found and passed during the spring session.

Bob Pritchard, R-Hinckley, is the state representative for the 70th Legislative District, which includes most of DeKalb County. He can be reached in DeKalb at 815-748-3494, or online through his website, www.pritchardstaterep.com.

Story Archived

Only the most recent 7 days of articles are available for free. For articles older than 7 days there is a small fee for retrieval from our archive. If you are a registered member of the site, the content is free just by signing in below.

Please sign in with your Comment Member ID and password.

Did you purchase access?

Member ID:
Password:
Forgot Your Password?
Register to comment.

Purchase Access
To allow for flexibility, we offer a variety of options for purchasing articles:
Purchase options


Having trouble?

If you have any technical difficulties, either with your username and password or with the payment options, please contact us by e-mail at archivedesk@shawmedia.com


Reader Poll

What is your favorite book genre?

Horror/sci-fi/supernatural
Romance
Thriller/suspense
Mystery
Nonfiction