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Question of the day

Monday, May 20, 2013

* Sun-Times

At a City Club of Chicago address this morning, Gov. Pat Quinn said lawmakers shouldn’t let the razzle-dazzle of slot machines distract them from their true mission of overhauling pensions.

“For those legislators who are enamored with the shiny object (of) expanding gaming in illinois, that has to wait until we get the important priority of pension reform done,” Quinn warned.

“If we don’t buckle down and focus on pension reform we will truly regret it,” Quinn said. “We really need to keep everybody’s attention on public pension reform in these next 11 days. There can be no real advance on gaming and all that, unless we do pension reform.”

And yet the governor wants an immediate vote on gay marriage, said he’ll concentrate on passing a high capacity gun magazine ban this week, and etc.

Still, he’s said this about gaming all down the line.

* The Question: Should the General Assembly wait until after pension reform is completed before sending a gaming bill to the governor? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

surveys & polls

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 1:24 pm:

    Pension reform and same sex marriage are the important ones on the list above. Gaming can wait and even I think the “ban” on high capacity magazines is a waste of time.

  2. - tubbfan - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 1:26 pm:

    No, this is not how legislation is passed. If everything were held off until pension reform were passed, many days of work would be lost.

  3. - TJ - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 1:26 pm:

    No, they shouldn’t wait. The General Assembly is more than large enough to simultaneously work on multiple bills so that work on one would not in any way, shape, or form delay the other. Pension reform is undeniably more vital for the long-term fiscal strenth of the state, but saying that other things should be tackled first is akin to saying that the Chicago Police Department shouldn’t investigage burglaries or issue speeding/parking tickets when there are more vital unsolved murders cases to solve first.

    Saying that they should focus on pension reform first before they tackle expanded gaming is nothing more than political gamesmanship by Quinn to make it look like he’s staying on top of a major issue whilst avoiding the fray of an obviously contentious gaming bill.

  4. - RNUG - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 1:30 pm:

    New revenue has to be part of any pension solution. Might as well start raising some …

  5. - Norseman - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 1:32 pm:

    Does Quinn think they can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. Well, maybe some of them can’t. However this is a ridiculous statement by the Governor. Of course, that’s to be expected by this Governor. Just because he seems to have to work night and day on every issue doesn’t mean that the General Assembly can’t address both issues. Although, I’d prefer they not pass anything on pension reduction.

  6. - Norseman - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 1:34 pm:

    Plus, he was pandering to the City Club of Chicago. Give them what they want to hear.

  7. - 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 1:34 pm:

    No. The school funding never worked with the lottery.

  8. - archimedes - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 1:35 pm:

    No - they shouldn’t wait. Any pension reform will not solve the financial problem. Revenue will be needed, may as well get on with it.

  9. - Ahoy! - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 1:43 pm:

    No, unless they want to wait until there is a new governor.

  10. - Rudy - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 1:45 pm:

    I voted no. The legislature is free to pass legislation or hold it according to its own priorities. The pension legislation will probably be last, as the chambers are proposing different solutions. I wouldn’t be surprised to see pension reform done in some form in an overtime session. But the Governor may be signalizing he won’t sign a gambling bill unless he also has a pension bill to sign. He has his priorities too.

  11. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 1:46 pm:

    ===New revenue has to be part of any pension solution. Might as well start raising some …===
    100% agree. I voted No to the question and wish that instead, a gaming bill would provide that all gaming tax revenue go toward (1) paying down backlog of bills and (2) paying into the pension fund. Would Quinn veto a gaming bill if it were linked to pensions?

  12. - 47th Ward - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 1:55 pm:

    It seems to me that a budget can’t be done until both pension reform and gaming expansion get done. Presumably there will be budget implications from both of these bills, so I’d want those factored into to the FY14 budget if possible. I realize whatever savings or new revenues will be modest if anything in 2014, but it would be nice to include them if they exist.

    I voted no. Quinn should have to sign pension reform and gaming before the budget passes though. But nobody trusts anybody anymore so only a fool would go first in that environment, especially trusting Quinn to sign gaming legislation. How many times has that blown up in the past?

  13. - Ed - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 1:55 pm:

    Governor is on wrong side of every issue

  14. - Draznnl - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 1:57 pm:

    I voted no. While I am ambivalent about expanding gambling, I realize that legislatures are able to vote on multiple issues. It’s too bad our governor doesn’t understand that simple reality.

  15. - Draznnl - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 1:57 pm:

    I voted no. While I am ambivalent about expanding gambling, I realize that legislatures are able to vote on multiple issues. It’s too bad our governor doesn’t understand that simple reality.

  16. - Empty Chair - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 1:57 pm:

    Gaming before pensions epitomizes the GA. Let’s put off large problems and underestimate their importance by pretending that short-term bandaid solutions will keep us afloat. Can’t wait until the day we’re discussing “gaming reform.”

  17. - Demoralized - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 2:03 pm:

    I would hope the GA can walk and chew gum at the same time. I think it’s ridiculous when people suggest that the GA should work off of some sort of a list and not move on until they check that one thing off of their list.

  18. - HenryVK - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 2:05 pm:

    Other than making himself look really stupid (as Norseman noted, he seems like he’s saying he can’t walk and chew gum), I don’t see what Quinn accomplished with the threat.

    There are two bills. They are working on one and they sent you one.

    Make a decision.

    There is no inherent reason for them to be connected.

  19. - wordslinger - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 2:19 pm:

    No, that argument never holds water.

    He might want to hold it hostage until he gets what he wants, but there’s no objective reason why one has to come before the other.

  20. - Been There - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 2:20 pm:

    Get as much revenue on the table as you can. What difference does it make it make if pensions have been reformed first? You can’t plan on spending any of the gaming proceeds unless it passes first. If he is going to connect the two issues then ask that the money get spent on paying back pensions.

  21. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 2:21 pm:

    We need revenue.

  22. - Sir Reel - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 2:23 pm:

    No. Comparable to walking and chewing gum.

  23. - OneMan - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 2:29 pm:

    Then using that same logic the GA shouldn’t do anything until they approve pension changes.

    Give me a break…

  24. - Ready To Get Out - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 2:31 pm:

    No. Agree with RNUG and He Makes… It’s a revenue producer (supposedly) so why not get the process going?

  25. - biased observer - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 2:40 pm:

    yes. obviously pension reform is the biggest issue in our state right now and it needs to be addressed before anything else.

  26. - Small Town Liberal - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 2:45 pm:

    I haven’t read everything the Governor has said about this, but in what I have read I don’t see him telling the GA not to bother working on gaming. It seems to me that he’s saying don’t expect him to approve gaming until they’ve sent him pension reform. Doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me.

  27. - LisleMike - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 2:53 pm:

    They should wait (This is first time Chavez respecting Obamist and I have agreed on something!)
    Yes the GA is big enough to multitask but it is a matter of priorities. They have sat on pension reform like people trying to walk across a thawing lake. Every creak causes them to stop, frozen in fear, stuck away from shore and away from the destination.
    This needs to be finished and then move on. if not the ice is going to crack below them in my example and they will be all wet at the least and lost in the worst case.

  28. - Coach - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 2:57 pm:

    Gee, I’m thinking wouldn’t we all love to have jobs and just do one thing! Come now Governor you are the leader of this state so act like it! Everyone including yourself should be doing more than one thing at a time. Now if you truly believe in what you are saying Governor then you should put all your time towards the pension bill and not talk about anything else but that. Do you of course not, your still traveling everyone, speaking on numerous subjects, etc. It is just all about you and what you want and not what the people of Illinois wants!

  29. - one of the 35 - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 3:05 pm:

    One Man: “Then using that same logic the GA shouldn’t do anything until they approve pension changes.” Yes. Until the Pension issue is resolved, no other business should be transacted. For too long, the GA has put off the pension question. They pay attention to all other issues except the 900 lb gorilla they should be solving.

  30. - Jack - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 3:11 pm:

    Obviously anything that will increase revenue to the state such as gambling, should take precidence over anything that does nothing for state revenue such as limiting capacity of gun magazines. Unless Madigan budges, pension legislation is dead for another year.

  31. - Susiejones - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 3:16 pm:

    I voted Yes, not because they should only work on one issue at a time, but because they have put off pension reform for so long because something else comes along that “needs” their attention before they get to pensions. Just do it already, then move on to the multitude of other issues that come along.

  32. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 3:19 pm:

    I think Susiejones and I agree–it’s not that they can’t do multiple things at once, it’s that they won’t. And pension reform has been put off far too long as it is.

  33. - Brendan - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 3:52 pm:

    I’m surprised no one has thought to use new state revenues from gambling expansion as a tie-in to pension reform (i.e. stipulating that certain new revenues be dedicated to covering the pension-obligation gap).

  34. - Midwest Mom - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 4:39 pm:

    I said yes, it should wait, but more exactly I should’ve said it’s second in importance to these other key issues. I agree with the statements of addressing multiple issues at once as I sure do it here at my corporate desk. And it certainly is tied to more revenue.

  35. - Been There - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 5:05 pm:

    Well Lou Lang just gave up sponsorship of the gaming bill. Something to do with a perceived conflict of interest. Not sure what to read into that. Maybe he just got tired of banging his head against the wall with the Gov office.

  36. - Ruby - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 6:09 pm:

    Illinois SB 1739, the massive gambling expansion bill, is not likely to become law unless it drops the airport slots and puts all oversight and control for a Chicago casino back with the Illinois Gaming Board.

  37. - wordslinger - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 6:11 pm:

    According to today’s WSJ, a lot of states are confident the U.S. House will pass the online sales tax bill already approved by the Senate.

    (Why anyone would be confident the House would do anything is beyond me, but some states are already banking on it).

    For Illinois, the estimated uncollected online sales tax in 2012 was $1.06B.

  38. - Just The Way It Is One - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 6:42 pm:

    Yep–sorry to some who so strongly disagree to the North of this Comment, but 1st things 1st, Man–let us recall while people gripe about what they feel are other higher legislative priorities that the Entrenched, Decades-Old, and Growing Pension Problem is costing we, the Illinois Taxpayers, oh, ONLY $17 MILLION DOLLARS a DAY–just flung out the window!!! Other issues can jump onto the back burner at this point…!

  39. - Sandy - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 7:55 pm:

    It’s revenue for the state. Yes, it should be considered before, during and after pension reform. I can’t understand what or why Quinn is so against passing a gaming bill. Election? Just hates gaming? Likes to toy with the lawmakers involved? Who knows, but if it means money for our state and less spending in surrounding states, then pass it already. Money speaks louder than doing nothing which is happening a lot lately?

  40. - Sox fan - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 8:23 pm:

    I voted to wait. The legislature has proven they can’t make the hard decision of reform pension unless forced to do so.

    Will holding back on approving those “shiny objects” do the trick? Who knows, but if pension reform doesn’t get passed, what difference does it make? The extra cash will simply be used to pay just a fraction of the interest on the debt.

  41. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, May 20, 13 @ 9:39 pm:

    Voted earlier, but forgot to comment. Old age.
    No! Clearly both take some heavy lifting, but both have also been well-debated in the past. The GA can and should be able to move on both issues in bill form in this session.
    Quinn is just engaging in counterproductive pandering.

  42. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, May 21, 13 @ 7:13 am:

    If these people had an iota of honesty to them, I’d say wait. But this is Kabuki - the plan is whatever Madigan wants (either his bill is going to get passed or it was just to give him talking points knowing the senate plan would be the one to pass), so they can do what they want.

  43. - Challenger - Tuesday, May 21, 13 @ 8:16 am:

    They need to work that’s what they are paid for, I really don’t care what comes first. We do need revenue that’s for sure and if we would have had more revenue along time ago the pensions wouldn’t be such a problem now. Besides it takes alot more thinking when you are talking about affecting people’s lives and it’s clear passing a gambling bill takes less thinking than passing a pension bill that one person wants control over!

  44. - Challenger - Tuesday, May 21, 13 @ 8:18 am:

    Sorry, I meant gaming bill

  45. - dupage dan - Tuesday, May 21, 13 @ 9:19 am:

    I voted no only because I don’t think it will matter when the gambling bill will be passed - the gov will veto it.

    Frankly, this is the only weapon that PQ has. It seems fairly clear that the GA isn’t too excited about having to do the heavy lifting on the pension matter so PQ is using what he has to keep their attention focused.

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