IL House committee considers creating pension commission - FOX 35 News Orlando

IL House committee considers creating pension commission

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (FOX 32 News) -

A House committee is considering a proposal to create a commission that could reform the public pension system without legislative input.

Pension-reform sponsor Rep. Elaine Nekritz called the House Personnel and Pension Committee to a meeting Tuesday afternoon to consider an amendment to her bill. She said earlier she didn't think she had enough votes to pass comprehensive reform.

The change would create an eight-member commission to come up with recommendations by April 30 for closing a $96 billion deficit. It could enact those reforms with a majority of five votes unless overturned by the Legislature.

Gov. Pat Quinn told the committee the panel was like the federal commission that closes military bases. He called the measure "extraordinary action" to help break the gridlock.

Governor Quinn called state senators back to Springfield, to hammer out a deal on Illinois' pension mess on Tuesday. The House met midday Tuesday, and the Senate is expected to meet in the afternoon.

The current plan up that's up for debate would freeze cost-of-living increases and require state employees to contribute more to the pension fund. An Illinois House committee approved that bill on Monday.

SEE: IL House adjourns for day without vote on pension plan

Tuesday is the final full day of the lame-duck session. State lawmakers need to reach a deal before new lawmakers are sworn in Wednesday, or they will have to start from scratch in the next session.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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