* Gov. Rauner was asked yesterday about the sharp criticism from Mayor Emanuel over the governor’s veto of a bill to change the pension payment ramp to put off higher payments into the future, which Rauner claims would cost the city billions of dollars more in the long run. Rauner had been open to the bill, but only if it was coupled with some of his economic and fiscal reforms. Those obviously haven’t come to fruition…
That didn’t stop Rauner from flatly describing the bill as “terrible policy” Sunday when he met with reporters. He also said it is “false,” “wrong” and “misleading” to suggest the bill would have saved Chicago $843 million over five years. Rather, he said Emanuel would have been allowed to “skip” payments and borrow from the pension funds.
“What Chicago has been doing for decades, and it’s the reason they’re so financially — they’re on the verge of bankruptcy as a city and as a school district — is because they’ve been borrowing to fund operations. And that’s what the mayor is doing by delaying these pension payments. He hasn’t done any real reforms.”
Rauner then added: “If the mayor wants to get upset that he can’t borrow more to fund operations, what he ought to be doing is being down here in Springfield, advocating for reforms for his city.”
Emanuel spokesman Adam Collins called it “kind of a bizarre comment.”
“Mayor Emanuel has passed more significant legislation in Springfield over the past year and a half than the governor has,” Collins said in an email. “Whatever spin the governor wants to put on it, the fact is he has been hypocritical on police and fire pensions. He was literally for the plan before he was against it.”
*** UPDATE 1 *** The bill fell far short of a super majority in the House, so Charles is right…
*** UPDATE 2 *** Press releases…
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 President Dean Angelo and Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2 President Tom Ryan issued the following statement after the Illinois state Senate voted to override Governor Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 777.
“On behalf of thousands of active and retired Fire Fighters and Police Officers, and on behalf of the millions of Chicago taxpayers, we wish to thank the members of the state Senate for overriding Governor Rauner’s veto. Senate Bill 777 reflects months of negotiation between our Fire and Police unions and the city of Chicago, through which we came together on an agreement to solve a decades-old pension problem, an excellent example of local control at it’s best.”