* I told subscribers almost two weeks ago that Gov. Quinn was considering this veto. From the Tribune editorial board…
Illinois legislators’ lackadaisical approach to pension reform stands in sharp contrast to Gov. Pat Quinn’s urgency. The legislators’ latest slow-pokery, a conference committee, has met all of once and then mostly to lower expectations. The governor, having given the General Assembly a July 9 deadline to pass reforms, noted that the committee waited eight days to convene in public when its members should have been working “round the clock” to get a bill on his desk.
With that in mind, a curious turn of events has us … curious: If legislators blow his deadline, which at this writing looks likely, will Quinn hold them to a pay-for-performance standard? That is, will he veto their salaries — and block their pay, effective immediately?
Imagine their outrage if he did. Wouldn’t that be sweet.
Imagine their instinct to override his veto before their next scheduled payday.
When Quinn threatens “consequences” if the General Assembly doesn’t approve a pension reform bill tomorrow, I think that’s what he may mean. It could also be something else. Subscribers know more.
Gov. Pat Quinn says he won’t testify before a bipartisan pension panel Monday, but will send aides instead.
The committee tasked with finding a solution to the nearly $100 billion problem invited Quinn to their Springfield meeting. But Quinn said Sunday that lawmakers know where he stands. […]
Chairman state Sen. Kwame Raoul sent Quinn a letter Friday, which was obtained by The Associated Press. Raoul says actuarial analysis on proposals, including ideas submitted by Quinn’s office, will take time. […]
His office hasn’t discussed the submitted proposals, saying they’re not new ideas.
Actually, as subscribers know, some of them are new ideas. Demanding action without knowing how much that action will save the state isn’t exactly responsible. But this is campaign season, so here we go…
Brooke Anderson, a spokeswoman for Quinn, dismissed Raoul’s statement as an excuse. She said lawmakers have been working on the issue for years and have all the information they need to present a plan. “We’ve been providing estimates, working with the actuaries and having these discussions for two years now. The people of Illinois are tired of these excuses and the lack of urgency,” she said. “The governor’s deadline stands. This is an emergency.” Anderson declined to provide details about what the governor’s plans to do if the committee fails to meet the deadline.
Is she on the campaign payroll yet? Just sayin…
* This is one of the things the conference committee is looking at…
The… measure, supported by university presidents, would require workers to pitch in an additional 2 percent of their paychecks toward their pensions, which would be phased in over four years. It would also tie annual cost-of-living increases to one-half the rate of inflation instead of the current compounded 3 percent yearly increase.
As is, the plan would apply only to university and community college workers, but lawmakers want to see what impact the proposal would have if applied to workers in three other retirement systems that cover teachers, state employees and lawmakers. They agreed to ask state pension finance experts to crunch the numbers on potential cost savings for the plan, a process that could take several weeks.
Sen. Kwame Raoul, the Chicago Democrat who chairs the committee, said the plan could act as a new framework for legislators to build on as they seek a deal that is not only financially sound, but politically viable.
“It’s not as easy as flipping a switch and this thing is over and we have a consensus,” Raoul said. “Having a plan that solves the problem is only half of the charge. We have to come up with a plan that passes the General Assembly.”
The conference committee meets again today at 3. We’ll have a live blog. Watch for fireworks.
* And check out what the governor told reporters yesterday…
Oh, yeah. It’s most definitely on.
* Hybrid Pension Plans Attracting More States, Cities
* Illinois revenue up 6.7 pct in fiscal 2013: Sales taxes were up a tepid 1.8 percent, or $129 million, in fiscal 2013, while federal funding, including Medicaid reimbursements, jumped by $472 million, according to the commission.