* Gov. Pat Quinn issued this statement Friday afternoon after the House advanced an amendment which would reform only the General Assembly’s pension system…
“I met with the legislative leaders this morning, and we discussed a number of pension proposals that could be voted on today. I asked them to vote on a proposal that reforms four of the systems and eliminates the unfunded liability, as I have repeatedly advocated.
“Republican leaders said no.
“I asked them if they would vote on a proposal that reforms three of the state’s systems. Republican leaders said no.
“I asked them to vote on SB1447, passed by the Senate, to reform two of the systems.
“Republican leaders said no.
“I asked them if they would lead by example, at the very least, and vote to reform the General Assembly pension system.
“Again, Republican leaders said no.
* Full audio of his press conference…
* But Rep. Biss probably had the best line of the day…
“We all look like idiots,” said Rep. Daniel Biss, D-Skokie. “We all _ not the governor, not the other side, not our side _ we all look like idiots.”
* From a Sun-Times editorial…
Biss, a Democrat from Evanston, got it right.
Friday was a day when everybody in Springfield failed the people of Illinois — Quinn, Madigan, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, the whole crowd.
Friday was a day of equal opportunity idiocy.
The only problem was that Biss was arguing in favor of Friday’s legislative pension charade and admonishing Republicans not to seek partisan advantage, which put him in the same boat as the rest.
* Carol Marin…
First, lawmakers in the House knew the bill didn’t have the full 60 votes to pass a third reading and be sent over to the Senate.
Second, the Senate had already gone home anyway! Time to take the word “special” out of “special session” forever.
When will they all come back? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Not. Until. After. The. Election.
In the meantime, legislative candidates who might be facing a tough opponent can print political fliers saying, “Look, I voted to cut my own pension!”
Bragging rights to a failed system. Failed leadership. Fraudulent government.
Don’t get me wrong, here. All of them — Democrats, Republicans and Quinn — wear the jacket on this one.
But the taxpayers of Illinois bear the unbearable burden.
* However, the Chicago Tribune was upset that the GA couldn’t even reform its own pension system…
After a do-nothing special legislative session Friday, Illinois remains rock bottom in pension stability. The House couldn’t even pass a sliver of reform: a bill that would affect pensions for lawmakers, a tiny fraction of the state pension system’s enrollees. The governor’s office estimates that narrow measure would save the state $43 million to $45 million right away and about $111 million by 2045. In context, not much — but too much for Illinois lawmakers to save. Thank you, members of the House, for not even tossing a thimble of water on your roaring bonfire.
The Senate adjourned before taking up the legislation at all. Without any bill on Quinn’s desk, the state realizes no immediate savings. So we are exactly where we were 11 weeks ago when the General Assembly went on summer vacation without doing anything to mitigate that “staggering” pension debt. Eleven weeks from now is the reason why: Election Day.
We could fill this page with who’s to blame. We could call them out by name.
But to keep it simple — to make it crystal clear — we’ll point the arrow here: It’s the incumbents, voters.
That was one of the more interesting editorials on this issue I read because it didn’t follow the accepted journalistic line that this vote was a complete and utter sham.