Madigan: Legislature could return to fix pensions

SPRINGFIELD – House Speaker Michael Madigan says he's prepared to pass a "meaningful" pension reform bill, and he hopes it will happen before the end of the year.

Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, said legislative leaders are waiting for actuaries to crunch numbers on some proposals they're considering. Once they have the information, he hopes lawmakers can return to Springfield and approve a bill.

The House Personnel and Pensions Committee on Wednesday approved a measure that lawmakers could amend with a pension deal. The procedural move sets the General Assembly up to more quickly approve any pension legislation if a proposal emerges from the leaders' discussions.

Illinois has a $100 billion unfunded pension liability. Lawmakers have been working for years to pass legislation addressing it, but have been unable to agree on a fix.