John Cullerton

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Illinois' top Democratic legislative leaders are asking the Illinois Supreme Court to reject Governor Pat Quinn's appeal of a lawsuit over legislative pay.

Quinn halted lawmakers' pay in July until pension reform was achieved. A Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled last month that the move was unconstitutional and ordered lawmakers to be sent back pay, with interest. An appeal is being reviewed by the state Supreme Court.

A proposed solution to Illinois' historic $100 million pension crisis is hanging in the balance as the state Legislature's October veto session approaches.

Key Democrats on a pension panel are pushing a plan to save the state $138 billion over the next 30 years, but Republican lawmakers want a number of changes.

Gov. Pat Quinn and Senate President John Cullerton have met to discuss the stalemate over a solution to Illinois' pension crisis, but House Speaker Michael Madigan didn't show up.

Aides to all three leaders had no details on Tuesday's roughly hour-long meeting in Quinn's Chicago office. Neither Cullerton nor Quinn addressed reporters.

Both the House and Senate remained deadlocked on a solution to the nearly $100 billion problem.

Supporters of a gambling expansion proposal are making changes to the legislation in an attempt to improve its chances with the Illinois Legislature and Gov. Pat Quinn.

Rikeesha Phelon is a spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton. She says Cullerton plans to strip language from the bill that would legalize Internet gaming and let lawmakers consider it as a separate measure.

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton is on board with the newest Illinois House pension solution plan.    Spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon says the Chicago Democrat plans to amend his proposed pension fix with language from a bipartisan House plan announced yesterday. But Cullerton would retain other provisions he says would ensure the plan's constitutionality.

Legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois is expected to come up in a Senate committee meeting today and could see a floor vote on Valentine's Day. Democratic Senator Heather Steans is the bill’s sponsor. She says it's on the executive committee's agenda, and she's confident it has the support to pass the Senate next week.

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A plan to rescue Illinois' worst-in-the-country pension problem faces uncertainty in the final full day of the lame-duck legislative session. The House adjourned with a floor vote Monday on the contentious plan to reform the pension system. House committee members approved a proposal calling for more employee contributions and freezing cost-of-living increases to close the $96 billion deficit. Backers say it's a compromise on a complex problem that addresses many concerns. But opponents question whether it's constitutional.

Quinn Says Lawmakers are Distracted by Gambling Expansion

May 22, 2012
wikipedia.org

Governor Pat Quinn says Illinois can't afford to have lawmakers distracted from crucial issues by more talk of gambling expansion. Quinn says leaders at the state Capitol sometimes "get distracted by shiny objects."