Senate President John Cullerton

State News
6:22 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Moody's criticizing new state budget

The credit rating agency Moody's is criticizing the Illinois state budget passed last week. As IPR's Brian Mackey reports, this is not a surprise to government officials.

Moody's says because Illinois did not extend higher income tax rates, it could have to rely on what it calls "credit negative" practices. Illinois already has the lowest credit rating of any state in the country. Moody's isn't lowering it further, at least not for now.

Read more
State News
7:11 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Will lawmakers approve legislation making the higher income tax rate permanent?

Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield Monday to begin the final two weeks of the spring legislative session. As IPR'S Brian Mackey reports, the big question remains whether Democratic leaders can convince enough rank-and-file lawmakers to make a higher income tax rate permanent.

Although Gov. Pat Quinn, Senate President John Cullerton, and House Speaker Michael Madigan all support making the temporary 5-percent income tax rate permanent, Madigan in particular has had a hard time getting fellow House Democrats to go along.

Read more
State News
6:44 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Gov. Quinn says pension shortfall is a crisis

Governor Pat Quinn is disputing a fellow top Democrat's statements that Illinois' nearly 100-billion-dollar pension shortfall is not a crisis. Senate President John Cullerton has said that the pension shortfall is not an imminent crisis, but finding a solution can keep the state's income taxes down. 

Read more
State News
6:56 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Political scientist says Gov. needs a win on pension reform

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:

Read more
State News
7:17 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Senate votes down pension measure

It's the final day of the legislative session, and the foremost issue that has plagued lawmakers all year remains unresolved. There's a chance yesterday's actions may have deepened a divide between the House and Senate over what to do about the state's massive pension debt. IPR’S Amanda Vinicky explains. 

Gov. Pat Quinn is asking the state senate to reconsider its vote, after the chamber quashed a pension measure that would cut state employees' and teachers' retirement benefits. Quinn says the Senate's action lets down the people of Illinois, whom he says are paying $17 million every day the current pension system stays in place. 

Read more
State News
7:12 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Pension talks to continue today

A solution for dealing with Illinois' 100 billion dollars of pension debt continues to elude legislators, even as the spring session rapidly approaches its end. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn Friday. IPR’S Amanda Vinicky reports.

Lawmakers have taken votes to deal with the pension debt. Problem is the House passed a plan that Speaker Mike Madigan says will save more money. And the Senate passed a different plan that his fellow Democrat, President John Cullerton, says is better because it's more likely to be upheld by the courts.

Read more
State News
7:03 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Analysis: little savings in union-backed pension overhaul proposal

A state pension overhaul backed by government employee unions may save only half of what advocates had promised.  That underscores an ongoing battle between the House and Senate over pensions, with only ten days left in the legislative session.  IPR'S Amanda Vinicky reports. 

There's general agreement on this much: that Illinois' public pension systems have $100 billion dollars in unfunded liabilities.  That's a fancy word that *basically* means "debt." It's a big number that's getting Illinois in trouble with bond houses and eating into the state's budget. And the House and Senate have different plans on how to drive that number down.

Read more