Quinn's schedule light on pension crisis

Published 10/10 2013 09:29PM

Updated 10/11 2013 10:05AM

SPRINGFIELD -- Each time Governor Quinn talks to reporters, you are bound to hear something about pension reform. He says he's working on it "night and day." Imagine the surprise when the governor's schedule over the last few months did not show any meetings with the pension committee.

The governor is certainly a busy man. His calendar is usually filled to the brim. A lot of items were marked "meeting," but there were no phone calls to any of the members of the special pension committee. Also, no specific meetings on pensions since the committee was formed.

A lot of lawmakers have been on Quinn's case for not being present during the process. The administration says, just because something does not appear on a calendar doesn't mean it's not happening.

They say Quinn keeps talking to stakeholders and lawmakers. Spokesman Dave Blanchette said that Quinn works constantly on the issue.

"It's his number one issue as Governor. But this is a democracy, not a dictatorship. He needs them to put something on his desk that means comprehensive pension reform for the state of Illinois, and he won't sign anything that does anything less."

A Democratic leader on the committee says she has had some conversations with Quinn and feels the governor knows where things stand. Quinn's staff says the governor has been meeting with Senate and House leaders on the issue.

As for the status of pension reform, the committee was hoping to have something ready before the veto session. But the clock is ticking. Veto session starts in just under two weeks.

By Quinn's own estimate, the state loses about $5 million each day this crisis goes unsolved.

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