Little time for Dems to celebrate
Pensions crisis greets new General Assembly
SPRINGFIELD – Historic numbers of Democrats took seats Wednesday in the Illinois General Assembly, beginning a new legislative session facing unfinished business that involves another historic number: a $96 billion hole in public-employee pension systems.
A near-record 71 Democrats took the oath in the House, along with 40 in the Senate, which officials said was the most in history. The margins are large enough to render Republicans all but irrelevant and overcome any gubernatorial veto.
But looming over the Democratic celebration was a reality that the worst-in-the-nation pension crisis would remain difficult to solve, despite the lopsided roll call and renewed vows from both parties to urgently tackle the mess.
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