Gov. Pat Quinn says Illinois lawmakers need to address pension reform when they gather for the Lame Duck Session over the next week. (Photo courtesy flickr)
By Jim Anderson
SPRINGFIELD - The Lame Duck session in Springfield will be short, but Gov. Pat Quinn says much can be accomplished.
The Senate will be in session three days, Wednesday through Friday, and the House for three days, next Sunday through Tuesday (Jan. 6-8). The governor says that allows time to take action.
“I really feel in that three-day period we can accomplish a lot. I really think it’s time to do that. The election’s over, the newcomers don’t arrive until Wednesday the Ninth, but between Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, the Sixth, Seventh and Eight, I think we can get a lot of work done,” he said.
The period is called a Lame Duck session because lawmakers who are retiring or who were voted out of office are still serving, and they may be willing to make votes that are politically challenging but that they view as the right thing to do.
Lawmakers may wish to take up an assault weapons ban, gay marriage and driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, but the governor says they must not ignore the more complex matter of pension reductions.
The new General Assembly, elected in November, will be sworn in at noon on Jan. 9.
The governor is on his way to Miami to watch the Northern Illinois football team compete in the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day.