A bipartisan panel tasked with finding a solution to Illinois' massive pension problem is set to meet this afternoon. Today marks their third meeting. The 10-member panel formed last month out of a special session on pensions. Lawmakers adjourned without agreeing on a solution to the nearly $100 billion crisis. Both chambers had been divided on dueling pension plans. Committee members say they're taking those into account but have other ideas too. Governor Pat Quinn gave the committee a Tuesday deadline.
The Illinois House has passed a bill requiring visitors to state parks to pay admission fees. Bill sponsor, Republican Representative JoAnn Osmond, says the cash is needed to keep the parks open. Osmond says the money also could help pay to improve the parks because they've fallen into a state of disrepair. Under the measure, Illinois would be able to charge annual fees for vehicle stickers to get into the parks and daily admission fees for pedestrians or drivers without annual passes.
Illinoislawmakers are again pushing to get rid of legislative scholarships. The House voted yesterday to end the program that allows each lawmaker to hand out tuition waivers to students from their district. The measure now goes to the Senate, which has backed the program in the past. Each legislator can award four-year waivers to two students or divide them among up to eight students. The program has received criticism after revelations some legislators awarded waivers to family members and the children of political allies.