39°FOvercastFull Forecast

Madigan: Pensions remain most critical issue

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — House Speaker Michael Madigan says Illinois' pension crisis remains the most serious problem lawmakers face.

The Chicago Democrat addressed newly-sworn in House members Wednesday at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Madigan says it's a "terribly contentious" issue because any reform would be a change to what workers had been promised.

House lawmakers adjourned the lame-duck session Tuesday without calling for a vote on pension-related legislation.

On pensions, Madigan also stressed the importance of addressing what's known as the "cost-shift," where the state picks up downstate and suburban school district retirement costs.

Madigan calls it a "free lunch" that needs to be addressed.

The issue was a sticking point on pension talks. Madigan said earlier that he was willing to set it aside temporarily to accomplish some pension overhaul.



National video

Reader Poll

Do you support protesters who have marched against the 2014 Chicago police killing of a black teenager who was shot 16 times by a white officer?
Yes, I support the protesters
No, I don't
Not sure
No opinion