* Gov. Pat Quinn talked briefly to the Associated Press this week about pension reform…
He has been widely praised for good intentions and efforts, but now it could be more months without movement and no promise of a solution on his signature issue as Republicans — and even a few fellow Democrats — begin angling to challenge him in the 2014 governor’s race.
Quinn just shrugged it off Wednesday as a new General Assembly was sworn in, effectively restarting the process.
“You have to have deadlines in life,” he said. “Sometimes you make those deadlines, and sometimes you have to keep working, keep running. That’s what long distance is all about. You never stop working on something until you get to the finish line.”
* Quinn also sat down with ABC7’s Charles Thomas…
“When they pounded the gavel down and said we’re finished for this session of the legislature, you know that was the end for the time being,” Quinn said.
As we met this afternoon in the Quinn’s Chicago office, he was disappointed but not discouraged. […]
“We came close, but we’re not there yet. So you keep on pushing. That’s what governors do,” he said. […]
Former U.S. Commerce Secretary and White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley has publicly questioned Illinois’ leadership and says he’s considering a primary run to replace Quinn.
“There are politicians who stand on the sidelines and point fingers. They make excuses and alibis, I’m not one of them,” Quinn said. “I never walk away from a tough battle. I stay in there and fight to the end to get the job done.”
* The governor expressed optimism and counseled patience to the Illinois Radio Network…
Gov. Pat Quinn is ready to resume tackling the old problems in the new General Assembly, with pension restructuring again chief among them. Quinn says his experience as a cross-country runner in high school taught him something about persistence and patience.
“(Senate) President (John) Cullerton indicated Senate Bill 1 will be a pension reform measure. I talked to his staff, and they indicated it would cover the four major systems,” Quinn said. “They also indicated it would not include what is called the ‘school shift,’ so if we can get a bipartisan majority out of the Senate on that bill, I’m optimistic; then, we’ll get it over to the House, where we have, obviously, a lot of work still to do.”
Quinn said he is disappointed the 97th General Assembly adjourned Tuesday without passing a pension bill. In fact, the House did not even call it for a vote. He’s aware the House and Senate do not always agree on legislation, and he said he is not too put out by Cullerton’s comments that Quinn is a good guy but not a very good governor, especially when it comes to passing legislation. “I’m not a member of the legislature,” Quinn said. “I can advocate for ideas and bills.”