Quinn sets July 9 deadline for pension reform deal

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has set a July 9 deadline for a bipartisan committee to come up with a solution for Illinois' pension crisis.
   
The Chicago Democrat says lawmakers must move quickly to address the $97 billion unfunded pension liability. He says lawmakers' lack of action is hurting the state's economy.
   
The Legislature voted Wednesday to form the conference committee in an attempt to end a stalemate between the House and Senate.
   
Lawmakers expressed skepticism that a compromise can be reached by Quinn's deadline. They say it takes time to crunch the numbers on various proposals.
   
But Quinn says it's sufficient time and there should be "no excuses."
   
It's not the first deadline Quinn has set for lawmakers to address the problem.
   
Legislators have missed every prior deadline he's set.

Earlier story:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers have convened a special session in Springfield, where they're expected to move ahead with plans to form a committee to deal with pensions.
   
Moving to committee requires a vote by both the House and Senate.
   
Gov. Pat Quinn met separately with Democratic and Republican legislative leaders Wednesday morning.
   
Republican House Leader Tom Cross says the governor wants to move ahead quickly so pension reform can be voted on by early July in another special session.
   
House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton each would get three appointees to the 10-member committee. Cross and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno each would get two.
   
Illinois' $97 billion unfunded pension liability is the worst in the nation.

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