WBEZ | patrick quinn http://www.wbez.org/tags/patrick-quinn Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Gov. Quinn claims breakthrough on pension reform http://www.wbez.org/news/gov-quinn-claims-breakthrough-pension-reform-104703 <p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said Friday one of the most controversial proposals to fix the state&#39;s massive pension debt is temporarily off the table.&nbsp;</p><p>Quinn and some legislators have supported a so-called cost shift, which would require local school districts to pick up the tab of their own teacher&#39;s pensions.</p><p>Many Republican legislators have opposed that plan, saying it would force local property taxes to go up.</p><p>Teachers&#39; pensions are one of the biggest contributors to the state&#39;s $95 billion pension debt.</p><p>Steve Brown, a spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan said lawmakers will meet on Saturday to discuss the details of a compromised bill that would not include the cost shift. Brown said the cost shift is a way to end the extraordinary amount of money the state spends on teacher pensions, but, &ldquo;We need to try to pass what we can pass.&rdquo;</p><p>Brown said bipartisan support is needed to pass the kind of pension reform needed to be effective.</p><p>For months, Quinn has called on lawmakers to pass pension reform in January, before the session ends on Wednesday. With the clock ticking, Quinn met with some suburban lawmakers Friday morning before addressing the media.</p><p>Republican State Rep. Darlene Senger, who attended the meeting, said, &ldquo;The fact they came out of the gate with the cost shift removed really, I think, opened it up to a listening phase.&rdquo;</p><p>But passing any pension reform legislation could still be difficult, since any plan approved by the House would also need the support of the Senate, which adjourned Thursday.</p><p>The Senate earlier passed a measure that did not include the cost shift and affected just two of the state&rsquo;s five separate pension systems. Senate President John Cullerton says that plan is the most legally sound option available, since a legal challenge to any pension reform legislation is likely. If the courts strike down a new pension plan, the legislature could be back to square one.</p><p>Quinn said Friday the ideas in the Senate bill will be incorporated, but he didn&rsquo;t go into specifics. One aspect of the Senate&rsquo;s measure gives affected state employees a choice between pay raises in retirement or receiving health insurance.</p><p>&ldquo;There are ways you can, in drafting a bill, have what are called backstops that provide for protections against anything being declared unconstitutional,&rdquo; Quinn said.</p></p> Fri, 04 Jan 2013 12:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/gov-quinn-claims-breakthrough-pension-reform-104703 Leaders blast judge's decision to block McCormick Place labor rules http://www.wbez.org/story/leaders-blast-judges-decision-block-mccormick-place-labor-rules-88215 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/archives/images/cityroom/cityroom_20100405_newsintern_1347269_McCo_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois leaders blasted a judge’s decision to block new labor rules for McCormick Place on Wednesday.</p><p>In a joint statement, Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Speaker of the House Mike Madigan and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton sought to reassure businesses that the state was committed to reducing the costs of exhibiting at the beleaguered convention center.</p><p>The leaders said that Illinois and Chicago “are absolutely committed to maintaining the McCormick Place reforms enacted in May of 2010, whatever it may take.”</p><p>Judge Ronald Guzman issued an injunction that prevents rules that were passed by the Illinois state legislature last year from going into effect.&nbsp; The bill made it easier for businesses to set up their own exhibit booths and limit the size of work crews and their overtime. It also allowed exhibitors to bring in outside electricians and food, in an attempt to bypass the convention center’s unions.</p><p>Gov. Quinn, who was among those who had signed the joint statement, had vetoed provisions of the bill in May of last year, which was quickly overridden by the legislature.</p><p>The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, the governing body that manages McCormick Place, vowed to fight the court action in a statement issued late Wednesday afternoon.</p><p>“With today's ruling on denying the motion, we are compelled to take the next step. We will be asking the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay while we present our case as to why Judge Guzman's ruling should be overturned,” &nbsp;said MPEA trustee Jim Reilly.</p><p>“The importance of the city's convention industry as an economic engine can't be overstated,” he said in the statement.</p></p> Wed, 22 Jun 2011 22:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/leaders-blast-judges-decision-block-mccormick-place-labor-rules-88215