Madigan pension vote? Speaker orders House back after Thanksgiving

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 11/25/2013, 03:39pm

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UPDATE: 11:56 a.m., Nov. 27Legislative leaders strike deal on pension reform

SPRINGFIELD-House Speaker Michael Madigan Monday ordered lawmakers in his legislative chamber to return to the state Capitol next week and signaled “continued progress” toward a possible pension-reform deal with the other legislative leaders.

Madigan, D-Chicago, notified House members that the House will be in session at 11 a.m. Tuesday for what he described as a “one-day session.” The speaker also scheduled a House Executive Committee meeting at 3 p.m. on Monday.

The memo to lawmakers did not say explicitly there would be a vote on a plan to solve the state’s $100 billion pension crisis, though a Madigan aide made clear weekend talks on the subject had yielded more momentum.

“The speaker continued the negotiations he initiated during the final week of the veto session over the weekend with phone conversations with other leaders,” Brown spokesman Steve Brown said. “He indicated there was continued progress.”

Meanwhile, an aide to Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said senators remain on “standby” next week as the legislative leaders “try to reach a deal.”

Cullerton spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon said senators are “circling Dec. 3 and 4 on the calendar” as possible session days to deal with pension reform.