Time running out for lawmakers to take action

Published 05/10 2013 10:07PM

Updated 05/13 2013 01:40PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Over the past week, the major focus at the Capitol has been pension reform. But, lawmakers still have a full plate of issues. There could be some big decisions during the next few weeks. WCIA-3's Steve Staeger has more.

The House has 17 scheduled days of session left; the Senate, 16. The deadline for both, May 31.

Beyond pension reform, lawmakers could make major changes to social issues before leaving town. Many thought Illinois would be the tenth state to legalize same-sex marriage.

It sure looked that way on Valentine's Day when the bill passed the State Senate, but since then, it's stalled in the House and three other states have passed laws. The governor hopes to speed it back up.

Quinn's comments come about a week after Speaker Mike Madigan said the votes weren't there. Many feel marriage should stay between a man and a woman, but the governor says it's worth a try to pass this bill, especially with the session winding down.

Another bill to get some attention in the coming week, medical marijuana. After five years of failed attempts, the sponsor finally got the bill through the House. It passed a Senate Committee this month.

Illinois would be the 19th state to allow medical marijuana. Critics include police who worry it would open the door for anyone to get their hands on the drug.

Another major issue, the budget, but that really depends. Lawmakers want to make some progress on pension reform before they approve the budget. Savings from a pension reform bill could help stop serious cuts to education.

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