Gay marriage takes veto session spotlight for 2nd day

Illinois' bi-partisan pensions committee has nothing to show despite nearly three months of work.
October 23, 2013 3:26:27 PM PDT
Wrapping up their first week back at work early, the issue of gay marriage in Illinois was a main focus again Wednesday on the second day in session.

Opponents of same-sex marriage gathered at the capitol.

As the first week of their fall session was cut short, Illinois lawmakers kept private their negotiations to resolve the state's fiscal crisis. For the second day in a row, the buzz around the capitol concerned gay marriage.

As marriage equality supporters did Tuesday, same sex marriage opponents rallied outside as well as inside the capitol.

"The righteous must report for duty. So we're calling all Christians to report for duty," said Bishop Larry Trotter, Sweet Holy Spirit Church

On Tuesday, the Illinois governor, lieutenant governor, comptroller, attorney general and a U.S. senator demanded a House vote on the gay marriage bill already passed by the Senate. Wednesday's rally featured Republican candidate for governor State Senator Kirk Dillard:

"I have said that I would veto the gay marriage bill that is pending before the Illinois House," Dillard said.

Elsewhere in the capitol, the Senate followed the House lead and canceled its Thursday session. Both chambers will darken this week without having considered the state's $100 billion unfunded pension debt that House Minority Leader Jim Durkin says is driving Illinois' second highest in the nation, 9.2 percent unemployment rate.

"We have friends and neighbors who are still out of a job and trying to find ways to keep their homes and also feed their children," Durkin said.

The bi-partisan, House-Senate conference committee formed four months ago to draft a compromise pension reform bill still has not reported, and a member suggested a bill might not be ready until next year.

"I really think this is something that is more likely during spring session, but that's really not up to me," said State Sen. Linda Holmes, (D), Plainfield.

THE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN SAID ANY PUBLIC PERCEPTION THAT THE LEGISLATURE IS NOT GETTING THE JOB DONE...IS NOT IMPORTANT:

"I'm going to keep working on a bi-cameral, bi-partisan basis to solve this problem," said State Sen. Kwame Raoul, (D) conference committee chairman. "I'm concerned with getting the work done."

The General Assembly returns for the fall session's part two on November 5-7. There are no guarantees that pension reform or for that matter same-sex marriage will be considered by the lawmakers.


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