Lawmakers calling Illinois special session a 'waste of time'

By WEEK Producer

August 17, 2012 Updated Aug 17, 2012 at 10:15 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Some state legislatures are calling Friday's special legislative session on pension reform a waste of time.

They returned to Springfield to tackle one of the biggest and most expensive issues facing Illinois.

Before lawmakers even met in the afternoon, no pension deal could be reached between Governor Pat Quinn and the four legislative leaders.

When House members convened Friday afternoon, Republicans voted to go into caucus to look at two bills which involved pension reform for the state employees and lawmakers.

Republican State Representative Don Moffitt says the two measures could only save the state an estimated $50 million annually and do very little to provide comprehensive pension reform.

"it really doesn't address the real issue of the pension system currently not being sustainable," said State Representative Moffitt, (R) 74th District. "So, we really need to look at the total package and emphasize that all the stakeholders need to be at the table."

"Unfortunately, the Governor felt the need to call a special session and it was unnecessary," said State Representative Jehan Gordan-Booth (D) 92nd District. "Because if there is a need for us to be down here after May 31, we can come down on our own; a special session does not have to be called."

The State Senate did not discuss pension reform but instead, held an executive committee appointment meeting.

Democratic State Senator Dave Koehler said he would donate his per diem pay for the special session to charity.

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