* There are 34 lame duck lawmakers coming back for the January lame duck session, unless some resign between now and then. Getting those lame ducks to vote for pension reform won’t be as easy as convincing them to vote for an income tax hike was two years ago - mainly because many of those lame ducks are about to collect pensions.
So, Rep. Nekritz could be right about this taking some time…
State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, who chairs the House Personnel and Pensions Committee, said that when the legislature does approve pension reform, the plan won’t go into effect right away. She said legislators have until the end of the fiscal year at the end of June to act and they don’t necessarily have to pass reforms when they meet in January.
“The pension systems themselves don’t want anything implemented in the middle of a fiscal year. And legislatures don’t like to act too early, so I still think that spring is a very likely time for us to be doing this as well,” Nekritz said.
Nekritz, however, told me last week that she believes she’s the only one who feels that the pension reform bill can wait until the spring.
* Meanwhile, after saying “I don’t think we should let one particular segment of a reform bill hold up progress” when talking about the cost-shift, the governor now seems to be backing away from his backing away…
Quinn also reiterated his support for the so-called ‘cost shift’ proposal, which would require local school districts to help pay for the cost of teachers’ pensions. Republican leaders have criticized the idea, saying school districts couldn’t afford to take on the added costs without raising property taxes. Last week, Republican House leader Tom Cross said he and Quinn share a lot of common interests on the pension issue.
“It’s not confusing. I favor that (the cost shift),” Quinn said Friday at a separate news conference. “I think it should be done that everybody who is involved in government when they negotiate a contract should have a stake in having to pay for the pensions that are part of the contract.”
Yes, it is confusing, governor.