Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x2 - “The mayor has conveyed to the governor that she opposes a pension amendment” *** Because… Pritzker!
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*** UPDATED x2 - “The mayor has conveyed to the governor that she opposes a pension amendment” *** Because… Pritzker!

Friday, Nov 8, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Better Government Association president David Greising in Crain’s

When Lightfoot called for pension reforms during the interview, I noted that she herself has stopped short of putting a constitutional amendment on the table. Instead of restating her opposition to the idea, she turned attention to Pritzker.

“The governor has been very clear that he does not favor a constitutional amendment,” Lightfoot said. […]

“So, we have to re-engage [on pension reform]. And whatever it takes to reignite that conversation, I’m all for.”

This sounded like Lightfoot would even consider a change to the constitution, I noted.

“I’m very clear that the governor is opposed to a constitutional amendment. I think that makes it very difficult if not impossible,” she said.

Yeah, it’s all the governor’s fault. Right, mayor. We had a governor for four years who supported a constitutional amendment on pensions, but he couldn’t get it done because he blamed Speaker Madigan.

Also, by the way, there’s this thing called a veto session coming up in a few days and the mayor will need the governor and pro-labor House and Senate Democrats to fully engage to help her city’s agenda. Is this really the way to do that?

…Adding… Governor’s office…

The governor has been very clear that we must protect the pensions promised to retirees while working to overcome the decades of failure that have put our pension systems at the forefront of Illinois’ fiscal challenges. In his first ten months in office, the governor has already introduced and implemented realistic and effective measures to reduce state and municipal pension liabilities, including expanding the voluntary pension buyout program, proposing legislation to consolidate the 650 police and firefighter pension funds and solve the Tier 2 pension underfunding, dedicating fair tax proceeds to bend the pension curve, and examining the viability of asset transfers to reduce unfunded liabilities.

*** UPDATE 1 *** From the governor’s comms director…

The mayor has conveyed to the governor that she opposes a pension amendment.

Mayor Lightfoot does this a lot. She’ll hint that she wants a constitutional amendment when she’s talking to somebody like Greising, but she’ll tell others that she’s opposed.

Pick a lane, mayor.

*** UPDATE 12 *** Mayor Lightfoot’s office…

As the Mayor has said many times before, she firmly believes pensions are a promise and remains opposed to any constitutional amendment. The Mayor fully supports the Governor’s position on this issue and appreciates his work to lead efforts toward statewide pension reform, which she has made clear must include Chicago. The Mayor’s description of the political landscape on this issue should not be misconstrued as anything to the contrary.

Except her view of the political landscape is also wrong. Even if the governor favored a constitutional amendment with every bone in his body, it wouldn’t pass the General Assembly. The previous governor proved that. What she did here is use a gullible pundit to shift blame.


  1. - Wow - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 4:22 pm:


  2. - Ok - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 4:23 pm:

    Lori needs to hire some people who know what they are talking about on this and will go talk to people to figure out areas of alignment.

  3. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 4:24 pm:

    ===Lori needs to hire some people who know what they are talking about===

    It’s not the staff. It’s the principal.

  4. - ChicagoVinny - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 4:31 pm:

    This is flip flop from what she ran on, where she explicitly said “No” to this constitutional amendment.

  5. - Bertrum Cates - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 4:36 pm:

    Cue a Trump slam via Mayor’s Twitter in 3…2…1…

  6. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 4:37 pm:

    The mayor is her own worse enemy.

  7. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 4:45 pm:

    What a remarkable contrast in leadership.

    Pritzker ran on a progressive agenda, he has largely kept is promises and been an affable but focused leader who wants results but avoids finger pointing.

    Lightfoot ran a blend of reform and progressive promises that she has failed to keep. And when she fails instead of accepting responsibility, she blames everyone else.

    Now, desperately flailing about, she once again throws organized labor under the bus. It’s time for those in organized labor and other progressives that laid high hopes on Lightfoot to look in the mirror and ask themselves why they are still standing with her.

    If you were one of those early Lightfoot supporters who vouched for her progressive credentials, and you have not spoken out yet, what are you waiting for?

    The governor and others have been sending Lightfoot not-too-subtle messages. I think it’s time to get a lot less subtle. Maybe move the CPS elected school board bill for starters. See if that gets her attention.

  8. - Bertrum Cates - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 4:47 pm:

    To the update… That’s about as professional as they get in this business.

  9. - Juvenal - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 4:50 pm:

    Has the bill to allow recall of the Mayor of Chicago been refiled?

  10. - Montrose - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 4:51 pm:

    The first thing out of Lightfoot’s mouth is what she actually believes. The follow-up is her staff trying to fix the damage.

  11. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 4:51 pm:

    Gov. Pritzker deserves credit for being consistent about pensions being a promise. He could have started flirting with the neoliberals, like the Mayor, after he won and needed labor support less, but he hasn’t.

  12. - bill - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 5:02 pm:

    So, we have to re-engage [on pension reform]. And whatever it takes to reignite that conversation, I’m all for.”… on reform without an amendement? im all ears lori…

    rich hit the nail on the head…rauner screamed for four years do an amendment and where was the supporting cries?

  13. - Responsa - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 5:22 pm:

    This dance between the new governor and the new mayor is very interesting. I do not live in Chicago proper so did not vote for mayor and have no dog in this fight. Lightfoot or her office have said and done some unexpectedly strange things. Still, she won handily and to become mayor she took out some pretty high profile pols with a message that must have appealed to voters. As I reflect on all this I honestly don’t know if she has already broken that bond that got her elected or if she believes that how she is proceeding is on target with what she promised she’d try to do if people voted for her.

  14. - Jocko - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 5:23 pm:

    I’m looking forward to candidate Lightfoot taking on mayor Lightfoot in the next general election.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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