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Old 01-11-2012, 11:57 AM
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campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
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Thanks for the link, Chilango. Somebody had sent me a news article on Hatch's comments, but not a link to the "report".

In other news, we have the Governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn, saying that this time, they really mean it, they'll do some pension reform this year:

Gov. Pat Quinn said Tuesday he will jump into the fight over how to reform Illinois’ pension system.

“Our rendezvous with pension reality will come this year,” Quinn told reporters at a Chicago news conference. “This is a major mountain to climb, and I’m willing to lead the expedition. We’re going to get this done once and for all.”

The governor pledged that pension reform would be done in a “fair and constitutional manner.”

Quinn's statement echoes those made in recent weeks by Senate President John Cullerton, indicating the two Democrats want an alternative to a proposal sponsored last year by House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, and House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago.

Cross’ proposal, which is backed by Chicago’s top business leaders, would create a three-tiered pension system and sharply increase contribution rates for public workers who want to stay in the first tier, a defined benefit plan that covers the vast majority of state workers today.

Quinn said he would model his working group after a panel convened by Senate Democrats last year that produced a bill that streamlined the process for firing teachers and made changes to other education laws. That group included teachers’ unions, principals, education reform groups, lawmakers and others in the education community. It produced a nationally praised law signed by Quinn earlier this year.
Anders Lindall, spokesman for the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, said the union welcomes the governor’s plan “if it is focused on the real problem,” which is successive governors and legislatures failing to fund the systems properly.

“Our union and our partners in the One Illinois coalition have been urging a collaborative process for a very long time,” Lindall said. “It’s critical to understand ... the real problem in Illinois public pensions is not benefits but funding.”

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