Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Quinn Tackles Schools, Seniors, Death Penalty and Ankle Biters

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Quinn on Schools, Seniors, Death Penalty and Ankle Biters
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Gov. Pat Quinn is ready to tackle school districts and seniors' precious retirement funds. That's right, his next election is four years away. Even though the state hiked the income tax, there are still budget woes, so look out Illinois there are changes coming.

Quinn says 868 school districts are "top heavy" and "too many." He's especially upset with the pay of some 270 school superintendents that he notes are "far beyond what I make." It may take a few years for the governor to make that consolidation happen, but Quinn believes it could save the state 100 million dollars.

Then, Senate President John Cullerton really got the political juices flowing Monday when he said he wants to revise the state's tax code. Cullerton says the state should start taxing the retirement income of senior citizens who can afford it. Quinn says he wants more details but, "we should look at fairness and economic growth."

That sure sounds like political speak for great idea!

As for whether Quinn will sign the pending bill to abolish the death penalty, he said he "will act on it this week" and that "I have a few more things I want to read on it tonight or tomorrow." (New speculation is this will happen Wednesday, but we also heard it was supposed to happen last Friday.)

If you've been keeping track, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Quinn seem to be in a verbal ping pong match. Last week, Christie called Quinn "a disaster." Today Quinn said Christie is "an ankle biter." Quinn says Christie's attempts to lure business away from Illinois is "way off."

He added, "Let's look at the record. Last year New Jersey lost more jobs than any state in the union."

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