* 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.