The Illinois General Assembly formed a 10-person conference committee on Wednesday to tackle pension reform during a special legislative session called by Gov. Pat Quinn.
Mr. Quinn also set a July 9 deadline for legislators to propose a comprehensive pension reform bill.
“I'm encouraged to see Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton in agreement on a means to the end,” Mr. Quinn said in a news release. “Now they must work together in good faith to put a comprehensive pension reform bill on my desk.”
The General Assembly adjourned its latest legislative session on May 31 after failing to pass either of two pension reform measures. The Senate soundly rejected a House proposal, while Mr. Madigan never called a vote on a competing Senate bill. Mr. Cullerton has said the Senate bill will save about $50 billion over the next 30 years, while Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno said the House bill would save about $188 billion over the same time frame.
Among the committee members are Rep. Elaine Nekritz and Sen. Daniel Biss, who co-sponsored a wide-ranging proposal last year that has many similarities to Mr. Madigan's bill.
Illinois has the worst funded state pensions in the country and earlier this month had its credit ratings downgraded by both Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings.