Calling it “the reform of our lifetime” and saying the state is “racing against the clock,” Gov. Pat Quinn promised to get together with legislative leaders and reach an agreement on pension reform next week.
Despite a late-night session on Thursday, the House failed to pass a pension reform bill. House Speaker Michael Madigan and Republican leader Tom Cross disagreed on a provision to shift pension costs from state to local school districts. Cross believes that will result in property tax increases in Downstate and suburban districts.
Quinn, however, agrees with Madigan that school districts need to be held accountable for contracts they negotiate with teachers.
“It’s important that we try to set a decision on the core issue of accountability,” the governor said today at a Springfield press conference. “Every entity that negotiates a contract should have a stake in the cost of that contract.”
Quinn also commented on the gambling bill passed by the Senate Thursday. The bill would add five casinos, including one in Chicago, and allow racetracks to install slot machines. Quinn was opposed to the gambling expansion that passed the legislature last year, and seems no more enamored of this version. He is insisting that gambling interests not to be allowed to contribute to political campaigns.
“I believe in a strong ethical framework of oversight and integrity,” he said. “No campaign money from gambling interests.”
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