Gov. Pat Quinn called an August 17 special session for the full General Assembly to meet and discuss pension legislation. Speaker of the House Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) already scheduled the House to meet August 17 to vote on the expulsion of State Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago), who faces federal bribery charges.
Quinn's announcement was largely greeted with skepticism. Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) said it would be a waste of taxpayer money, about $40,000 he estimated, to pay General Assembly members for the costs associated with traveling and holding a special session. Also, the General Assembly appears no clearer on a big pension deal than they were in May.
One possible outcome of the special session is that the House signs off on a Senate bill passed this spring to cut pension benefits for state legislators and some state employees. That bill does not address whether school districts and public universities, as opposed to the state, should pay public educator pension costs.