Gov. Quinn mum on local pension overhaul issue

Nov 13, 2013

Governor Pat Quinn has emphatically called for an overhaul of the state's pension systems.  But he won't say where he stands on a local pension overhaul, one that a major campaign donor wants vetoed. 

 According to the SEIU Local 73 website, union members met with Gov. Pat Quinn on Nov. 9 to express their opposition to a measure passed last week by the General Assembly.

But when asked about it, Quinn said he didn't have details about the proposal.

 "You know I haven't seen the bill yet, I heard about it, I read about it in the paper. I think it just arrived. And uh, we'll look at that bill as we do every other bill, and look at it very carefully and make a decision based on how I feel the merits are."

 At issue is legislation that would reduce retirement benefits of Chicago Park District employees-- something the union says it was on board with.  But workers who are already retired would see their pensions cut, too, and that's what has the union upset. 

 That's similar to what legislators are considering doing to Illinois' retirement systems.  Quinn has repeatedly called for legislators to pass a pension overhaul.  SEIU's hefty campaign contributions helped Quinn eke out the win in his last race for governor.