Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Quinn Calls Special Session on Pensions



    “Time and time again, failure to act by deadlines has resulted in the bond rating agencies lowering our credit rating, which hurts our economy, wastes taxpayer money and shortchanges the education of our children," Gov. Pat Quinn said.

    Gov. Pat Quinn on Thursday called a special legislative session to focus on a solution to fix Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension shortfall.

    The move comes after Moody's downgraded the state's credit rating from A2 to A3, the second time the rating was downgraded this week. On Monday, Fitch Ratings dropped Illinois' rating from A to A-, citing pension problems. Standard & Poor's rating services lowered the rating in January.

    Lawmakers End Session With Unfinished Business

    [CHI] Lawmakers End Session With Unfinished Business
    Lawmakers adjourned Friday without action on gay marriage, gambling expansion or pension reform. Carol Marin reports.

    Illinois has the lowest rating in the nation.

    "Here we go again," Quinn said in a statement. "Will two downgrades in one week be enough to convince the General Assembly that our pension crisis can't be ignored anymore?"

    Quinn: Pension Reform Before Gaming Bill

    [CHI] Quinn: Pension Reform Before Gaming Bill
    Gov. Pat Quinn told the City Club of Chicago that the state must get its finances in order before he will consider gaming expansion legislation. "That means pensions," he said.

    Quinn said he has pushed members to send a comprehensive pension reform bill, but as recently as Friday legislators failed to act. 

    "Illinois taxpayers are paying a price of $17 million a day for the General Assembly’s lack of action on comprehensive pension reform," Quinn said.

    He called the General Assembly back to Springfield on June 19 "to finish their job for the people of Illinois.”

    Lower ratings mean paying higher interest rates on borrowed money.