But it didn't pass without a lot of debate. The House and Senate had been debating the bill most of Tuesday afternoon during a rare December Special Session. Some lawmakers questioned whether the proposal -- which takes a number of steps to lower the state's pension liability -- had been properly thought out. House Speaker Mike Madigan responded that it was a compromise bill crafted by both Democratic and Republican leadership even as he conceded more changes may be needed.
"This is not a one-sdied bill," he pleaded with fellow House members. "There will be changes here, but this bill is a well thought out well balanced bill that deserves the support of this body, the state senate, and govenor quinn." The bill passed by just two votes.
The 'We Are One' coalition of public employee unions urged Governor Quinn to veto the legislation, saying the if he doesn't, "... our union coalition will have no choice but to seek to uphold the illinois constitution and protect workers' life savings through legal action." They say the bill is clearly unconstiutional"
Quinn clearly will sign it, saying in his own statement, "This bill will ensure retirement security for those who have faithfully contributed to the pension systems, end the squeeze on critical education and healthcare services, and support economic growth."
Senate Vote: 30 Yes, 24 No, 3 Present
House Vote: 62 Yes, 53 No, 1 Present