State lawmakers prepare for fall veto session

By WEEK Producer

October 21, 2013 Updated Oct 21, 2013 at 7:18 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- State legislators return to Springfield this week for the annual veto session but it is unclear what, if anything, will be accomplished.

There are about a half dozen veto items lawmakers could consider but with no pension reform bill from the conference committee, it is unclear if anything will get done.

State Senator Bill Brady is a part of the pension reform committee.

"To the Democrats credit on the committee, they put a program on the table that would save $138 billion. I'm just not sure it goes far enough to really call it a solution,” said Brady, (R) 44th District.

Democratic state Senator Dave Koehler said the state's two-tiered pension system cuts benefits drastically for those who started after 2011. He said it is critical for the panel to come up with a workable pension solution.

"What we need to do is pass something that makes sense, that's constitutional, that's fair,” said Koehler, (D) 46th District. “The other point that I wish the legislature would figure out is that we really need to refinance the whole system.”

"I think we should have passed pension reform a long time ago because it's a real burden on our budget,” said state Representative Dave Leitch, (R) 73rd District.

"Certainly disappointing, but nonetheless there may be something. I highly doubt it but there may be something in the second week,” said state Representative Dan Brady, (R) 105th District.

The house has already canceled its session on Thursday. If legislators don't accomplish anything, they will have plenty of time when they come back in January.

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