Gov. Pat Quinn says a hurdle has been removed in the quest for public pension reform. Quinn told a group of state legislators Friday in Wheaton that House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago, pictured) communicated to him that he would put the cost shift issue on the back burner. Madigan is in support of shifting the cost of school employees from the state to school districts as part of public pension reform, but Quinn says Madigan is now willing to revisit the issue at a later date.
“Not so long ago I received a call from the House speaker, Mike Madigan, my good friend, and he indicated that he was willing to defer any discussion on the cost shift regarding pension reform until a later date,” Quinn said. “That we would still keep working on that issue, we’d pay attention to that issue, but it was such a paramount importance that we act now to begin that process of pension reform, that he was willing to take that particular issue off that table.”
Quinn says Madigan has told other legislative leaders the same thing. With that news, Quinn and a handful of legislators are optimistic that a bi-partisan compromise can be reached before the end of the legislative session on Jan. 9. “Not everyone agrees with all the nuances, we don’t know the numbers yet for the bills, but my gut is telling me this is moving in a really significant direction in regards to getting this thing shored up once and for all,” said State Rep. Darlene Senger (R-Naperville).
Senger says in crafting a new bill, lawmakers will borrow ideas from several lawmakers who have discussed or have crafted bills dealing with public pension reform.