House Speaker Michael Madigan told lawmakers to prepare for a December session, but don’t expect any real reform — the numbers under discussion remain inadequate to end the crisis.
We reported a month ago that the pension committee was just $12 billion away from agreement — but that’s $12 billion over 30 years on a total liability over $600 billion, so this is much ado about little.
Negotiations have shifted from the pension committee to the four legislative leaders, Madigan, John Cullerton, Jim Durkin and Christine Radogno. Radogno’s involvement won’t help true reform because she has long failed to grasp the true scope of the crisis. To her credit, however, she has said means testing ought to be applied to benefit cuts, which is appropriate.