Pension reform not likely before the end of the year

By WEEK Producer

September 14, 2012 Updated Sep 14, 2012 at 10:09 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The political storm of state pension reform is unlikely to pass before the November elections or this year.

Thursday, Senate President John Cullerton told the Chicago Tribune that a vote is most likely to come in January.

Cullerton says the key challenge facing the reform is a provision pushed by Governor Quinn that would require downstate school districts to begin paying their own pension bills, something that Republicans are not willing to sign off on.

The Chicago Democrat says at this time, there are not enough votes to pass any changes and action will likely come once it is clear who is in office.

During a news conference Friday, Governor Quinn said he is still optimistic.

"I'm disappointed that we can't get it done today or tomorrow," said Quinn, "but I'm optimistic we will by the end of this legislative session get a fundamental pension reform."

Last month, Standard and Poors lowered Illinois' rating because of the lack of action on pension reform measures.

The Illinois legislature is due back in session November 27.

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