• House speaker absent from leadership pension meeting

    by  • June 4, 2013 • News

    One of the three major ratings agencies has downgraded the value of Illinois state government credit.
    Fitch ratings said Monday it would drop the Illinois rating from “A” to “A-” based on lawmakers’ failure to enact a solution to the state’s public-employee pension crisis. pension
    Illinois already has the lowest rating in the nation. Lower ratings mean paying higher interest rates on borrowed money.
    Gov. Pat Quinn is trying to schedule a meeting of legislative leaders.
    Decades of state underfunding has left the five employee retirement systems $97 billion below what they need to cover future obligations.

    Quinn and Senate President John Cullerton have met to discuss a 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 today’s roughly hour-long meeting in Quinn’s Chicago office. Neither Cullerton nor Quinn addressed reporters.

    Quinn announced the meeting a day earlier.

    Both the House and Senate remained deadlocked on a solution to the nearly $100 billion problem. The Senate voted down a House-backed plan late Friday. Meanwhile a plan by Cullerton didn’t leave a House committee.

    No details were immediately available about what Quinn and Cullerton discussed.

    Madigan spokesman Steve Brown says the Chicago Democrat is out of state. He didn’t know if Madigan participated by phone, an option Quinn aides presented.

    The House and Senate both enacted their own plans toward a solution, but neither chamber adopted the other’s proposal.
    The legislature adjourned its spring session Friday without taking any action.