The Illinois Legislature created a special conference committee Wednesday to address the state's looming $97-Billion pension liability.
The House agreed to form a bipartisan conference committee after the Senate approved a similar motion earlier in the day. Governor Pat Quinn requested the committee as a way to end a stalemate between the House and Senate. Senate President John Cullerton says there's no guarantee it will work but says it's a step toward reaching a compromise: "Now we have a conference committee that the Speaker's agreed to do - rather than just insist that we keep on voting on his bill. And that's a very positive step. And so we'll now have a conference committee, we'll have testimony, and we'll see if we can reach an agreement."
Cullerton and House Speaker Michael Madigan, both Democrats, are allowed to make three appointees each to the 10-member committee. Republican Leaders Tom Cross and Christine Radogno each get two. A spokesperson for Speaker Madigan says he will appoint Representatives Elaine Nekritz, Mike Zalewski, and Art Turner. Governor Pat Quinn is giving legislators less than three weeks to come together on a pension overhaul.