Reporting Dana Kozlov
CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s an issue that threatens to cripple Illinois’ economy if reform isn’t achieved.
Saturday, Governor Pat Quinn and all four legislative leaders met behind closed doors to try and finally hammer out a pension reform deal.
CBS 2′s Dana Kozlov was there.
There was some progress, at least according to the house speaker and senate minority leader, but they wouldn’t say exactly what steps forward were made in this hastily called meeting.
All gathered in Governor Quinn’s Chicago office at the Thompson Center this afternoon.
They met for about an hour and a half, and left saying they would continue to work on this issue through Tuesday in hopes of striking a deal by then.
For some perspective, every day that Illinois doesn’t reform the teacher’s pension system costs the state $17.1 million.
House speaker Mike Madigan says some of the sticking points are a cost of living adjustment, whether there should be a cap on pensionable salary and if there should be a delay on a retirement date to help fund the state’s pension system.
“I think there is a much better understanding among the participants as to where of they are on the specific differences,” said Illinois Speaker Mike Madigan.
“We still obviously have a long ways to go. As you all know, at this point, we will vote on what Democrat leaders decide to put up on the board. Some of the issues they can’t even decide whether Chicago is going to be in or out of this program,” said Republican State Senator Christine Radogno.
Senate President John Cullerton did not make any comment but later issued a statement: “The Senate President was encouraged by progress made in today’s meeting. He urges the House to follow the Senate’s lead and take bipartisan action on pension reform in the days ahead.”
The House is back in session in Springfield tomorrow. No specifics on when the next leadership meeting on this critical issue will take place.