Ward Room
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Quinn Asks Illinoisans To "Save Our State"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Illinois' chief executive sits down with Ward Room's Mary Ann Ahern to discuss the state's pension problem, raising the retirement age, funding Medicaid with an increased cigarette tax and the distraction caused by Rep. Derrick Smith remaining in office. (Published Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012)

    As he pushes the General Assembly to pass his pension and Medicaid reform plans, Gov. Pat Quinn is taking to the Internet.

    His new website, SaveOurState.Illinois.gov, urges voters to urge their legislators to pass Quinn’s plan this session.

    Gov. Quinn One-on-One

    [CHI] Gov. Quinn One-on-One
    Illinois' chief executive sits down with Ward Room's Mary Ann Ahern to discuss the state's pension problem, raising the retirement age, funding Medicaid with an increased cigarette tax and the distraction caused by Rep. Derrick Smith remaining in office. (Published Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012)

    Says Quinn in a press release:

    "We owe it to the next generation to rise to the occasion in the next 15 days and restore fiscal stability to Illinois. ... It’s important for the people of Illinois to make their voices heard like never before and urge their legislators to address these difficult challenges."

    Mayor Pushes Pension Reform in Springfield

    [CHI] Mayor Pushes Pension Reform in Springfield
    Mayor Rahm Emanuel heads to the Illinois statehouse to lay out a roadmap for retirement security plans. Christian Farr reports. (Published Tuesday, May 8, 2012)

    The Medicaid and pension systems currently take up 39 percent of state general revenue spending and will grow to 50 percent next year without major reforms. Inaction could also severely limit the state’s ability to fund core services like education and public safety, threaten the state’s credit rating and hurt the long-term sustainability of both systems.

    Quinn’s plan to stabilize public pensions would save taxpayers up to $85 billion, eliminate the unfunded liability over 30 years and allow public employees who have faithfully contributed to the system to continue to receive pension benefits.

    His Medicaid restructuring plan would create $2.7 billion in savings by cutting waste, fraud and abuse; raising the price of cigarettes by one dollar, and bringing in dollar-for-dollar federal matching funds.

    Capitol Fax curmudgeon Rich Miller calls the vanity site, which collates newspaper editorials endorsing the governor’s plan, as well as the governor’s own press releases, "incredibly self-serving."

    Ward Room isn’t sure such a partisan message belongs on illinois.gov, which is supposed to be a public service portal for residents. Quinn is welcome to promote his pension reform plan, but he should politick on a personal website, and save the state’s bandwidth for programs that have been approved by the legislature.