HEADLINES : Illinois
State lawmakers focus on pension reform
SPRINGFIELD - With time running short in the lame-duck session, state lawmakers on Sunday dropped hot-button issues dealing with guns and marijuana but kept alive hopes of reforming pensions and giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.
The slimmed-down agenda unfolded rapidly as the House, returning to the Capitol for the first time in a month, pulled an assault weapons ban from consideration and the sponsor of legislation to allow Illinoisans to use marijuana for medical purposes said the chances of quick passage is unlikely.
The spotlight on whether Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and legislators can come together on financial changes to the state's $96.8 billion government worker pension debt intensified Sunday. House Republican leader Tom Cross of Oswego signed onto a plan offered by two House Democrats and urged GOP members to support it.