Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) has called lawmakers back into session to try to deal with the state's unfunded pension obligation. But expectations are low for a resolution, even though Democrats control both chambers and the state's credit rating is taking a beating.
Democratic Party infighting and pre-election positioning in Illinois are stalling efforts to realistically solve the state's looming $100 billion pension shortfall, deepening a fiscal crisis and forcing the state to pay more to borrow money in the future.
Moreover, there's no indication a resolution will be forthcoming any time soon, even though Gov. Pat Quinn (D) has ordered legislators back to Springfield, the state capital, for a special session on pension reform and even though Democrats control both legislative chambers.
Competing pension reform plans by the House and Senate both died in May, and, critics say, Governor Quinn has not put forward a plan of his own to remedy the state's unfunded pension obligation toward its public employees.
“People are puzzled why the governor has called a special session when no one has a plan to resolve the crisis. The governor is not really providing any leadership to make it happen, either," says J. Fred Giertz, an economist with the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. "It may sound good now to have a special session to deal with the crisis, but having a special session and failing again isn’t going to be much of a help for the state.”
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