SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Legislators have different explanations for why the Illinois House has adjourned without voting on any pension-related measures.
Republican Rep. Randy Ramey of Carol Stream blames a power struggle among Gov. Pat Quinn, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton --all Democrats-- for the lack of a solution for the state's $96 billion in unfunded pension liability.
Meanwhile, Chicago Democrat Rep. Monique Davis defended Quinn saying he has being proactive in offering solutions.
Chicago Democratic Rep. Edward Acevedo says he doesn't blame anyone for the absence of action in the House.
House lawmakers had a plan before them that included higher contributions from employees and reduced benefits for retirees. Some lawmakers voiced concerns over the plans constitutionality. The House adjourned Tuesday evening without voting on it.
"We cannot allow the state economy, the Illinois economy, to be held hostage by political timidity,” said Governor Quinn.
There has been some progress in the House this afternoon. A committee passed a bill that would create a special 8-person pension commission. Members would be in charge of coming up with a comprehensive reform package by the end of April and they wouldn't necessarily need legislative input to enact changes. That measure now heads to the full house where it seems unlikely to pass. Local representative John Cabello tells us he plans to vote no.
"People elect us. We shouldn't be having a committee decide what we are going to do. We were sent down here to solve problems. So to me it doesn't make any sense keeping everybody out of the progress,” Cabello said.