Lawmakers try to resolve unfinished business

Published 04/08 2013 04:55PM

Updated 04/08 2013 06:21PM

 SPRINGFIELD -- Lawmakers are gearing up for the last few weeks of spring session and that means hammering out deals for several big ticket issues. WCIA-3's Ashley Michels keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

There's not a lot of time left to get it all done. We have a little under eight weeks to go.

In that time, lawmakers have to take on some of the biggest issues they've ever faced. Lawmakers have spent the last three months in a series of debates on a handful of hot-button issues.

"Balance the budget, pay our bills on time. We have to have gun legislation in place by June eighth. We have to take care of that pension situation."

They all have to be resolved and the deadline isn't far off. Representative Raymond Poe (R) says all of the back-and-forth talk, actually puts them in a good position.

"Most of it's sort of setting up the table for what's going to happen the rest of the session."

He says he's not sure what any of it will look like yet, but says there will be a deal on concealed-carry and the state budget. Both are required by law. Pensions, which rack up an extra $17 million in debt a day, will also be put to rest.

"We're like a deadbeat state. We just need to get a lot of things done and get some of those issues behind us."

Otherwise, he says they'll have to keep pushing off other important things like creating jobs and paying down debt.

"We created a problem and we need to be figuring out a way out of the problem."

Lawmakers have now had a couple of weeks to cool off. Poe says that may have been the perfect remedy for the logjam.

"Now, we're going to come back and maybe some of those things will come together and we can vote on them and move forward."

Poe says, on top of the big three, lawmakers will also try to tackle other issues like gaming and same-sex marriage.

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