SPRINGFIELD - Just as the House was adjourning tonight after an array of budget bills were passed along party lines - Democrats for, Republicans against - House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) took to the podium.
"I have said publicly that I believe the pension costs should be sent back to local governments," Madigan said. "In a meeting this morning with Governor Quinn, he told me he agreed with the Republicans that the pension cost shift should not be sent back to school districts."
Madigan said he was turning over the sponsorship of SB 1673 to Minority Leader Tom Cross, and will release Amendments 4 and 6 from Rules Committee. When the House Executive meets at 9 am Thursday morning, those amendments the Republican want on the pension bill will be addressed with Rep. Cross taking the lead on the bill.
Madigan's apparent surprise move will set the GOP House into last minute legislative activity. Cross had just asked Madigan numerous times earlier this evening why the Speaker wouldn't take out the pension pay shift, and have easily-passed bi-partisan pension reform? The Speaker nor his Floor Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), who were both present in the chamber, did not respond to Cross' suggestion, until just moments before the evening's adjournment.
The session is scheduled to adjourn May 31st.