Cullerton: Gay marriage, gun debates not a 'waste' -

Cullerton: Gay marriage, gun debates not a 'waste'

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says his chamber didn't waste time last week by spending two days on the high-profile but risky issues of gay marriage and gun control.

Cullerton told The Associated Press in an interview Friday that those are tough issues to pass in the Legislature and bipartisan agreement can wait until a new General Assembly is sworn in Wednesday.

The Senate's Democratic majority couldn't push through a gay marriage bill, and restrictions on assault rifles received committee approval but haven't moved to the floor.

Critics say the Senate should have focused on the $96 billion pension deficit. Cullerton noted the Senate already adopted a pension reform bill that provides a framework, and says the House should take it up when it returns today.

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