The General Assembly returned to Springfield Wednesday the 19th at the request of Governor Quinn to reach an agreement on pension reform.
The action taken on Wednesday requires both chambers to form a joint conference committee. This committee will be comprised of 10 lawmakers from both chambers and political parties. The purpose of the committee is to formulate legislation which will solve the state’s pension crisis. The Governor has given the committee until July 9th to reach an agreement. At that time we will return to Springfield to vote on the legislation yielded by the conference committee. This committee’s formation, however, was not the solution the bond rating agencies wanted to see. Moody’s has already announced they will be holding firm on their A3 bond rating of Illinois- the lowest in the country. This will adversely affect the $1.3 billion bond sale scheduled by the state this month.
Nearly six months ago the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a “deadline” of June 9, for the state to enact concealed carry legislation and regulation. If legislation was not passed prior to this deadline the state would fall under what is known as “constitutional carry”, which simply allows citizens to carry based on the Second Amendment within regulation of Illinois’ 220 home rule communities. This week the U.S. Court of Appeals extended the “deadline” to July 9, allowing Attorney General Lisa Madigan a stay for 30 days. These 30 days allows the Governor additional time to review the legislation before choosing to sign or veto the law. In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Attorney General Madigan until July 24 to appeal the Seventh Circuit decision to the Supreme Court, but this will not change the July 9 enactment of the concealed carry legislation.