* I gave subscribers details about this pension reform impasse yesterday…
The pension proposal’s fate is uncertain should it pass the House. The Senate went home Thursday but Cullerton left open the possibility of coming back. Cullerton spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon said senators would return to Springfield Tuesday “to review and hear” a significant pension reform bill if one is passed by the House.
“I can’t make any predictions beyond that,” she said.
When the governor and legislative leaders met Saturday, Cullerton said at various points he would lobby against the House plan, Cross said. But Cross also said Cullerton indicated that he would allow for a Senate vote if the pension measure passed the House.
Still, if Cullerton balks at the House pension plan, Springfield could devolve into an all-too-familiar political game: The House passes one version of legislation, the Senate passes another, lawmakers pat themselves on the back and then blame the other chamber for failing to achieve needed reform.
* Yep. Not looking good right now, campers…
Madigan also said he has not decided whether a vote will occur on the Cullerton-backed plan in the Senate, as Cullerton has insisted.
“Well, I don’t know about that, but I know that John has given a lot of time and effort and study to the pension question, and so he’s got some strong views on it, which he’s entitled to,” Madigan said. “I don’t think we should get hung up on details. I think we ought to be focused on getting something done.”
Pressed on what’s left to be done, Madigan said, “Well, to sit down and reconcile differences and do a little give and take and move a bill.”
A Cullerton spokeswoman late Sunday held to her boss’ earlier position that the House first take up the pension legislation that passed the Senate last May before anything else.
“He’s still insisting they take up HB1447. We need an opportunity to have an up-or-down vote,” Cullerton spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon said.
“It’s already passed one chamber, and it has a constitutional framework we feel will hold up in court. We believe those considerations are very important on any bill that’s passed,” she said.
Senate President John Cullerton wants the House to approve cuts for state workers and lawmakers, leaving teachers alone for now.
With Republicans possibly getting on board a more sweeping plan, such a move might be getting more unlikely.
“They don’t want to see the Senate bill done just because it’s halfway there,” state Rep. Darlene Senger, a Naperville Republican, said.
There’s more. Much more. But you gotta subscribe.