Conference committee attempting to fix pension problem.

By WEEK Reporter

June 21, 2013 Updated Jun 21, 2013 at 10:16 AM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Six democrats and four republican legislators must find a workable solution to Illinois' $100 billion pension crisis.

Brad McMillan, the Director of the Institute for Principled Leadership at Bradley University, says the panel will allow more people a chance to participate in the decision making process.

"I think part of the problem with what's happening in Springfield is there are only a few people that ever get to be a part of the discussions," McMillan said. "So with the conference committee you now have 10 bipartisan members that will get together."

State Senator Dave Koehler says he hopes conference committee members keep an open mind during the process, while Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth hopes the individuals really engage in a conversations that will highlight the different issues. She says they need to look at a full range of options.

However, Republican Senator Darin Lahood is not as positive about the group creating pension reform.

"But we're at the point now where things are not being able to get done," LaHood said. "I think a lot of egos have gotten in the way here, egos at the very top of the House and Senate."

The conference committee was formed June 19, after House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton failed to reach an agreement on two separate pension bills.

State Senator Bill Brady is among those selected to serve on the conference committee.

The group will report back to Governor Pat Quinn by July 9.

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