Quinn, Deadlines And Legislative Deadlock
By Brian Mackey
Lawmakers have said they won't meet Gov. Pat Quinn's July 9 deadline to fix the state's pension system. It has become standard practice for the governor to set a deadline, and lawmakers to miss it.
The governor has been talking tough about lawmakers and the state's nearly $100 billion in pension liabilities.
"They better have it done," Quinn said on July 1. "Otherwise, there will be consequences."
But it is not clear what those consequences will be, and Quinn has declined to be too harsh in his threats.
"If they don't do their job, they have a lot of explaining to do to the people of Illinois," Quinn said on June 27.
Political studies professor Chris Mooney, from the University of Illinois Springfield, said a lot of people have taken this as a sign that Quinn is ineffective.
"It's like the parent that tells the kid, 'If you touch that, you're going to your room. Oh oh uh, if you touch that again, you're going to your room,'" Mooney said. "(The) kid realizes pretty quick that the parent's not going to do anything about it."
On the other hand, Mooney said one could also argue that but for Quinn's deadlines and hectoring on pensions, lawmakers would not be dealing with the issue in as urgent or public a manner as they are this summer.
The next legislative hearing on pensions is scheduled Monday afternoon in Springfield.