Rauner blasts widely supported pension proposal
Possible Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner criticized Gov. Pat Quinn today for the Democrat's suggestion that the state should be required to make a full payment into its retirement system every year.
It's an idea that has accompanied many of the top pension reform plans. For years, lawmakers and governors didn't put as much money into pension funds as the math experts said they should. And now, the state is $100 billion in debt.
Making such payments mandatory is part of both of proposals both from reformers and union leaders.
Still, Rauner blasted Quinn's comments.
"After years of continued mismanagement, Governor Quinn continues to reveal his true colors: a lackey to the government union bosses," Rauner said in his statement.
So we asked spokesman Chip Englander what plan Rauner does back. Perhaps one from state Rep. Tom Morrison, a Palatine Republican, that does not include the guarantee Quinn backs?
Englander took a broad swipe at the efforts at the Capitol. Then he said Rauner isn't officially running yet, so he doesn't have a plan yet.
Springfield politicians don't have the nerve, backbone, or fortitude to do what needs to be done. It's going to take more than introducing a bill and leaving it up to legislators and bureaucrats. A governor who's willing to put solving a major problem over their desire to be re-elected, be bold and facts-based, engage and educate the public, and charge forward is the likely prescription. None -- I repeat -- none of that exists in Springfield today. Should Bruce run for governor he'll have a plan. But the right first step is listening and learning and that's what he's doing now.
How the state will get a handle on its retirement costs is the biggest issue in Springfield at the moment.