Lawmakers Prep for Fall Veto Session

By: Jessica Geraci Email
By: Jessica Geraci Email

STATELINE (WIFR) -- Finding a fix for the state's pension system is at the top of the agenda for Illinois lawmakers as they head back to Springfield this week for the fall veto session.

The Stateline’s two state senators say pension reform needs to happen this session because too many tax dollars are being spent on a broken system instead of on things like schools and roads.

“As pension payment plans continue to increase, that squeezes out other areas of the budget, say money for education or other human service programs. If we pay more for pensions, that's less money for other important services in the state," says 34th District State Senator Steve Stadelman.

This will be Stadelman’s first fall veto session; the democrat says he's hopeful there will be a vote on pension reform. A bipartisan committee has spent the last week trying to come up with a solution that will pass both chambers. One proposal is expected to save the state $138 billion over 30 years. Senator Dave Syverson says he's already been working with colleagues from both parties to find a solution.

“I’ve been making phone calls trying to line up enough support for this, trying to let them understand from the financial standpoint why this is important. Everyone is getting hurt because we are trying to support a system that is unsustainable, and that’s why we need adult decisions to be made to get this passed," says 35th District State Senator Dave Syverson.

Lawmakers may also discuss a bill that would create a three year mandatory minimum sentence for criminals convicted of aggravated unlawful use of a gun. Supporters of same sex marriage are planning to rally the Capitol during the veto session. In February, the Senate approved a bill allowing same sex marriage but it has yet to pass the House.

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