Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Quinn Passes Buck on Raise Cuts

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gov. Pat Quinn talks about why it's not his fault that raises for almost 30,000 state workers were cut from the Illinois budget. (Published Wednesday, Jul 6, 2011)

    Who's to blame for almost 30,000 union workers' pay raises being cut from the Illinois budget?

    Not Gov. Pat Quinn, the governor said Tuesday. 

    "The General Assembly just did not appropriate any extra money for raises for employees," Quinn told reporters after a news conference about youth jobs. "They chose not to, and they made it very clear on the last day of the legislature that that's what they were doing."

    So what's a governor to do? 

    Follow the letter of the law, he said, and make the cuts. "I had to carry that out."

    "Anyone who's unhappy about that," he said, "should really go to the legislature."

    But Quinn is prepared for backlash on the decision. In fact, he said he'd be happy to meet union workers in court to defend his decision if that's what it comes to.

    "The bottom line is the law of Illinois," he said.

    Before passing the budget, Quinn said the spending plan lawmakers sent him shortchanged key services. He made $713 million in cuts, including budget trims for school busing and Medicaid.