Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

On Last Day of Lame-Duck Session, Quinn Presses for Pension Reform

Governor promises to work "all day" to pass a plan before the new legislature is sworn in




    Gov. Pat Quinn held a press conference Tuesday urging Illinois lawmakers to approve a pension reform plan before a new legislature is sworn in at noon Wednesday. Dick Johnson reports. (Published Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013)

    UPDATE: Quinn Proposes Bi-Partisan Pension Commission

    Gov. Pat Quinn wants the General Assembly to pass a pension reform plan today, before a new legislature is sworn in at noon Wednesday, he said in a Springfield news conference.

    Lawmakers Scramble for Votes on Pension Reform

    [CHI] Lawmakers Scramble for Votes on Pension Reform

    A bill to overhaul the state's pension system made it out of committee Monday but didn't get called for a vote. Dick Johnson reports. (Published Monday, Jan. 7, 2013)

    “Pension reform has confounded Illinois legislatures and governors for 70 years,” Quinn said. “There’ve been 12 governors, 13 speakers of the house and 12 presidents of the senate that have grappled with this issue, and we have continued to grapple with this issue. We’re working night and day on this issue.”

    Quinn pointed out that Illinois’ $96 billion pension obligation -- the highest in the nation -- increases by $17 million a day.

    Talks on Illinois Pension Crisis End Without Deal

    [CHI] Talks on Illinois Pension Crisis End Without Deal

    A talk hosted by Gov. Pat Quinn with legislative leaders about the massive pension crisis failed to reach an agreement. Michelle Relerford reports for NBC News at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2013. (Published Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013)

    "That’s over $100 million a week that we are seeing our pension liability go up," he said. “If the General Assembly doesn’t act, our economy suffers. Our jobs are either foregone or lost.”

    The governor wants a system that will erase the state’s pension liability in the coming generation, he said.

    “We cannot have a system where billions and billions each year go to paying pensions, where we do not have enough money for schools and public safety,” he said.

    Quinn met with members of the Hispanic Caucus Monday night. He believes the roll call on a pension reform plan is “close” and promised “to work all day with all the members of the House and Senate” to pass it.