Newly minted gubernatorial candidate Bill Daley called out Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday for "failed leadership" when it comes to pension reform in Illinois and said Attorney General Lisa Madigan is making matters worse.
In what Daley calls his three-step plan to end Illinois' pension impasse, the former White House chief of staff urged Quinn to veto any plan except the House-supported Senate Bill 1 that aims to cut $21 billion off the state's nearly $97 billion unfunded pension liability.
“Governor Quinn has failed to lead, maintaining over and over again that it’s the legislature’s job to pass the bill, and his job to merely sign it," Daley said. "That’s not leadership, that’s a cop out. ... His failure to get a legal opinion from the Attorney General Madigan has made the impasse even worse.”
He criticized Madigan, daughter of House Speaker Michael Madigan and potential candidate for governor, and said she failed to issue an opinion on the constitutionality of the bill.
“Senate Bill 2404 was written with good intentions, but it is simply another band-aid that will not solve the problem. There is a solid legal case that it is no more constitutional than Senate Bill 1. The only real difference is that Senate Bill 1 goes three times farther toward solving the problem,” said Daley.
Quinn on Friday said he wanted to form a bipartisan conference committee on the issue, but Democratic leaders said that again would try again to pass the plan backed by Madigan.