Illinois Sen. President John Cullerton said Standard & Poor's recent credit rating downgrade should motivate Illinois lawmakers to act. (WJBC file photo)
By The Associated Press and Illinois Radio Network
CHICAGO - Illinois Senate President John Cullerton wants to push forward with a pension overhaul ``as quickly as possible'' and says the timing is good to move forward with legalizing gay marriage.
He spoke to the City Club of Chicago yesterday, giving a slide-slow presentation on Illinois' financial problems.
The Chicago Democrat stressed the need for addressing Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension problem, which he says drains the state budget.
Cullerton introduced a bill after lawmakers were sworn in this month. Senate Bill 1 combines a Senate-approved measure along with a bill that failed to get a House roll-call.
He says he's working to get support. The Senate reconvenes next week.
Cullerton says Standard & Poor's recent credit rating downgrade should motivate lawmakers to act.
Income tax expiring
Lawmakers will not be taking the lead on what to do when the income tax increase expires.
The tax increase of two percentage points that took effect in 2011 will expire at the end of 2014. Cullerton said he’ll leave it up to the candidates for governor to debate what will happen to the state budget then.
Cullerton says the candidates’ numbers have to add up. The amount of money in question is about $5 billion per year, so the promises will have to involve spending cuts or revenue increases that total $5 billion once the tax increase expires.