Monday, November 25, 2013

Illinois House plans one-day legislative session for Dec. 3

By Jamey Dunn

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's office sent an email to House members telling them to plan for a legislative session day on December 3.

The communication says that some committee hearings will be held a week from today and that House members should expect legislative session to begin at 11 a.m. next Tuesday. “The House would expect this to be a one day session.”

The four legislative leaders have been meeting to discuss changes to public employee pension systems. A special bipartisan committee has been working on a plan for months. Group members said they made progress but they had yet to reach a deal, so the leaders have picked up the issue to try to craft an agreement. They have not yet, but those close to the issue say they are optimistic. “I think that they are making progress, and I think setting a date is a good sign for a positive conclusion,” said Northbrook Democratic Rep. Elaine Nekrtiz.

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said in an email: “The speaker continued the negotiations he initiated during the final week of the veto session over the weekend with phone conversations with other leaders. He indicated there was continued progress.”

The Senate has not released a plan for a December session. Ronald Holmes, a spokesperson for Senate President John Cullerton, said a pension deal has not yet been reached, but a leaders' meeting scheduled for tomorrow “should provide further clarity on a pathway forward.”

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