Critics accuse Illinois lawmakers of wasting your time and money

Lawmakers in Illinois are in the hot seat Friday morning.

Some critics claim they're focusing too much time debating frivolous issues ... instead of negating the state's massive $97 billion pension deficit and budget inked in red.

Legislators have passed a bill in committee to ban drivers from holding an animal in his or her lap while driving a car.

There's even a bill that passed to make it illegal to breed or slaughter a lion for meat.

That's just two examples of bills the Illinois Policy Institute say are a waste of time, especially with Illinois owning $9 billion in unpaid bills and the state's pension liability close to $100 billion dollars.

In fact the pension deficit grows by $17 million a day due to interest.

Kristina Rasmussen with the Illinois Policy Institute said, "The number one issue right now is turning our state's economy around. You cannot do that until you fix the budget problem and the pension problem. One hundred percent of their attention should be focused on the those issues."

Both houses have passed small pieces of legislation on the pension issue, but getting both chambers to agree on one total package will be difficult.

Lawmakers say the pieces of what's being called "frivolous" legislation are what they do in between work on important issues.