Mt. Vernon Register-News

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July 12, 2013

Lawmakers won't let pay freeze rush pension fix

(Continued)

SPRINGFIELD — —

Quinn said he also wouldn't take a salary until the pension crisis is resolved. He earns $177,000 per year.

The governor insists he will withhold the salaries as long as it takes for a pension overhaul. The General Assembly would have to reconvene in Springfield and vote to override his decision to get them back in the meantime.

The committee has met three times since being formed after a special session failed to find an agreement between rival House and Senate proposals on how to close the $97 billion retirement funding shortfall. Committee members haven't said when they will meet again, but they have requested a financial analysis for a plan backed by university administrators that they say could work as a framework for a state pensions overhaul.

Raoul said the committee could meet next week if the financial calculations come back in the coming days. In the meantime, he says, members are tasked with reaching out, one or two of a time, to union leaders and different stakeholders to get their input and reaction.

"I've said it'd be irresponsible to put a timetable on it," he said. "Perhaps when we've tinkered with it, after getting the major numbers back, then it becomes easier to put a timetable on it."

Brooke Anderson, the governor's spokeswoman, would not say how long the governor plans to suspend salaries. Anderson noted that the process "should not take months."

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