Pension 10 meet for first time to solve Ill. issue

June 27, 2013 3:08:59 PM PDT
A bipartisan committee of Illinois lawmakers met Thursday in attempt to find a solution to the state's pension problems.

The 10 members will try to do what the legislature could not. It is their charge to search for the pension solution.

"Hopefully this will set a foundation, a factual foundation for how we got to where we are," said State Rep Elaine Nekritz/D-Northbrook.

They are supposed to be the crowbar to break the gridlock, find the answer. The governor wants it by July 9. The chairman of the ten says he's not wedded to the date while underscoring that he's a guy familiar with tough issues.

"And on none have I set a firm deadline because it's irresponsible and it's setting yourself up for failure," said State Sen. Kwame Raoul/D-Chicago.

Most of the ten have already heard countless hours of pension debate over the last two-and-a-half years. So what do they hear now that's new?

"That's the first question I'm gonna ask. Have you ever testified before us, and what are you gonna say that's new, and can you stick to what's new?" State Sen. Matt Murphy/R-Palatine, said.

Give us ideas. Give us numbers was the committee request, but a good portion of what they got Thursday were speeches that did neither. The governor Thursday afternoon to the ten said, don't beef about my deadline.

"Instead of complaining about a deadline, get the work done. Get down to brass tacks. That's what the people want," Quinn said.

A lot of people came Thursday to watch. Those who didn't fit into the hearing watched on TV in an adjoining room. Some think the ten will accomplish little. Others have hope.

"Hopefully this group of people will come to some endpoint. They seem to be committed to doing so. One can only hope that they will," said Marsha Borden, retired state worker.


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