Deadline, Springfield

May 20, 2013 

The T-shirt said, "Top 10 reasons to procrastinate" -- and the No. 1 reason on down was blank. Our lawmakers in Springfield would all look good in one of those shirts.

They have known since the legislative session started in January that it was scheduled to end on May 31. But in what has become an annual rite of spring, they have put off resolving the No. 1 issue facing them: pension reform.

Now they have less than two weeks to find a solution agreeable to Democrats and Republicans, Chicago and downstate. Maybe they will throw something together at the last minute, like a college student might slap together a term paper hours before it's due. Or perhaps they do nothing once again despite the state's $100 billion and increasing pension debt. So what if the rating agencies downgrade the state's credit once again?

One thing lawmakers probably won't do is push back the date for adjournment. They could stick around and keep working. They should have to keep working until they solve the problems they were elected to handle. But that would disrupt all those vacations set to begin on June 1. Wouldn't want to do that.

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