Political scientist says Gov. needs a win on pension reform

Jun 11, 2013

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn “Desperately needs a win” on pension reform. That’s the conclusion of political scientist Kent Redfield. The U of I Springfield professor spoke ahead of next week’s special session on pensions, which Quinn ordered. Redfield says the Governor repeatedly blamed pension costs for the state's budget problems. If no agreement is reached, Redfield says, Quinn will look weak going into next year’s primary election:

“Whoever the Democratic opponent is will be using this to say `the Governor’s been talking pensions forever, nothing’s happened, the Governor can’t govern’.”

At least one Democrat seems ready to challenge Quinn. Former White House Chief of Staff William Daley formed an exploratory committee for a gubernatorial campaign. Governor Quinn has said he’ll seek a second term. The Special session will try to resolve an impasse between House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, both of whom released separate plans to solve the state’s pension crisis.