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Will it take more time? And Quinn backs away from backing away

Monday, Nov 19, 2012

* There are 34 lame duck lawmakers coming back for the January lame duck session, unless some resign between now and then. Getting those lame ducks to vote for pension reform won’t be as easy as convincing them to vote for an income tax hike was two years ago - mainly because many of those lame ducks are about to collect pensions.

So, Rep. Nekritz could be right about this taking some time

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, who chairs the House Personnel and Pensions Committee, said that when the legislature does approve pension reform, the plan won’t go into effect right away. She said legislators have until the end of the fiscal year at the end of June to act and they don’t necessarily have to pass reforms when they meet in January.

“The pension systems themselves don’t want anything implemented in the middle of a fiscal year. And legislatures don’t like to act too early, so I still think that spring is a very likely time for us to be doing this as well,” Nekritz said.

Nekritz, however, told me last week that she believes she’s the only one who feels that the pension reform bill can wait until the spring.

* Meanwhile, after saying “I don’t think we should let one particular segment of a reform bill hold up progress” when talking about the cost-shift, the governor now seems to be backing away from his backing away

Quinn also reiterated his support for the so-called ‘cost shift’ proposal, which would require local school districts to help pay for the cost of teachers’ pensions. Republican leaders have criticized the idea, saying school districts couldn’t afford to take on the added costs without raising property taxes. Last week, Republican House leader Tom Cross said he and Quinn share a lot of common interests on the pension issue.

“It’s not confusing. I favor that (the cost shift),” Quinn said Friday at a separate news conference. “I think it should be done that everybody who is involved in government when they negotiate a contract should have a stake in having to pay for the pensions that are part of the contract.”

Yes, it is confusing, governor.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Dirt Diver - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 10:55 am:

    This urinating contest will be the straw that breaks the camels back as far as the relationship between Quinn and the Dem. Legislative Leaders. Quinn has never had a good relationship with Cullerton. Their relationship will be put into “nuclear mode” if Quinn continues to pressure Cullerton on this.

    Quinn already ticked off Madigan by backing off NC shift and sided with the HGOP on the removal of NC shift. If Quinn continues this grass roots movement on pension reform, but does not push for NC shift, he wll further agitate Madigan to beyond reconcilation.

    Quinn and Rahm’s relationship is rocky at best. If Quinn has no allies among Rahm, cullerton, and Madigan, he can all but put a nail in the coffin on his tenure as Governor.

  2. - Lil Squeezy - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 11:03 am:

    We cannot afford to sit around and wait for explanations on the Governor’s positions. Squeezy is dangerous. Just look at his eyes. He is clearly a substance abuser who is very angry. He already has a devastating squeeze on the Capitol. We need to get to work now before he makes his way to the Thompson Center. The architects designing the Thompson Center never considered giant python attacks.

  3. - Harry Chronic Jr - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 11:11 am:

    I can attest that squeezy is a substance abuser as I have taken a few grams to the dome with him recently. He was baked and said, “hey watch this man”, then proceeded to mount the State Capitol. Oh squeezy, you crazy man. I love you, but you crazy.

  4. - Lay Person - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 11:12 am:

    Part-time Representatives getting a pension? Abolish this fringe and vote to have them pay at leaset 50% of their individual health insurance premiums. Maybe then they will get the point about reducing long term expense to the State. Wonder why IL is in the current fiscal crisis???

  5. - Liberty First - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 11:24 am:

    The elephant in the room is the expectation that they can continue to operate with making minimal payments. What they no longer have is a political fix option…. pay the bill and stop spending on pork.

  6. - Hank - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 11:38 am:

    ….mainly because many of those lame ducks are about to collect pensions………..
    This is a lousy excuse. Any pension reform package will not go into effect for a while and will grandfather those already on pensions. Maybe not all pensioners will be grandfathered but certainly the lawmakers will protect themselves

  7. - walkinfool - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 11:45 am:

    Quinn didn’t “back away” in the first place. He just tried (awkwardly I’ll admit) to avoid being specific in response to one reporter’s question.

    Nekritz: Independent thinking is sometimes jarring in the Springfield context. Most get caught up in political theater. She quietly tries to achieve what’s both right and practical.

    I’m betting on her, and those like her.

  8. - Downstater - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 12:11 pm:

    Costing shifting to the local school districts makes good financial sense. Phase it in over a 10 year period and give the local districts time to adjust, by reducing salary and other benefits to district employeee or gradually raise property taxes to cover the additional costs.

  9. - x ace - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 1:12 pm:

    Cost Shifting Unworkable as contemplated.

    Don’t think downstate school districts can cut enough costs or that taxes can be raised enough on the typical small town residential homeowner to make cost shifting fly. And there ain’t much industry in the sticks.

    But maybe the ultimate goal of the urban tax lawyer expert proponents is to force realignment of property tax on downstate farm ground. Even some bad ground selling for $10,000 or more an acre.

    So maybe the city slickers long range plan is to force agribusiness moguls to ante up.

    ( call Jesse Ventura now - Conspiracy Theory )

  10. - sal-says - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 1:17 pm:

    “* Meanwhile, after saying “I don’t think we should let one particular segment of a reform bill hold up progress” when talking about the cost-shift, the governor now seems to be backing away from his backing away…

    Quinn also reiterated his support for the so-called ‘cost shift’ proposal, which would require local school districts to help pay for the cost of teachers’ pensions.”

    Just how many things and how many times can one supposed IL ‘leader’ flip flop? And, he goes with ‘Squeezy’ too?

  11. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 1:36 pm:

    Perhaps there could be some aspect of pension reform - cost shifting? - that might be more palatable to lame ducks than to the new legislature?

  12. - East Central Illinois - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 2:42 pm:

    Cost shifting? Really, school districts have been doing that already with the proration of general state aid, districts have cost shifted to handle what the state should be funding to the school districts. On another note, if they are going to “cost shift” why don’t they do away with PTELL so that school districts that are under PTELL could at least TRY to have levy for the upcoming increases!

  13. - Downstater - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 3:03 pm:

    =Cost Shifting Unworkable as contemplated=
    The expense side of the equation is what needs to be addressed by school districts. Salaries and benefits, eliminate one size fits all mentality with regards to class sizes, e-classes, and sharing of curriculm classes between disticts are all available to reduce costs. These along would cover any increase in pension costs shifted to the districts. The rate of growth in spending has not translated into a corresponding increase in quality outputs by students.

  14. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 20, 12 @ 7:39 am:

    What’s with the new mutual admiration society between Quinn and Cross? What could either possibly offer each other, at this point?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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