Gov. Quinn calls special session on pensions after two credit agencies lower Illinois' rating

June 6, 2013 9:14:09 PM PDT
State lawmakers go back to Springfield on June 19 to address pension reform.

The special session was called by Governor Pat Quinn after Moody's became the second investors service to downgrade the state's credit rating.

He's ordered lawmakers back to Springfield, but it's the Governor who's been put on hold.

"I left a message with his staff, top assistant. I left a message on his wife's cell phone," said Gov. Quinn.

Seemingly MIA is House Speaker Michael Madigan, who the Governor says has not returned his phone calls following two downgrades of the state's credit this week.

"The legislature has to do its job, which is to put the bill on my desk, so I can sign it into law," said Gov. Quinn.

"He's calling the special session because he's trying to look dynamic, trying to take control of the situation, but Mike Madigan really has all the power in the Illinois General Assembly. And he's choosing for some reason not to use it right now," said Laura Washington, ABC7 political analyst.

Leading some political observers to question whether the 2014 gubernatorial race is behind the pension impasse.

Tonight, while speaking at a gathering of lawyers, the speaker's daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who's mulling a run for governor, denied her father is trying to weaken Gov. Quinn to benefit her.

"There's absolutely no credence to that. Everybody recognizes that the number one priority - not just this year but, truth be told, for the past several years - has been to resolve the pension crisis," said Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General.

"She's got a really big father problem. Now and later, she's going to continue to have to deal with her father and the shadow of her father in everything she does going forward," said Washington.

Perhaps sensing an opportunity, former Obama Chief of Staff Bill Daley today sounded increasingly like a candidate for Governor, blaming the pension mess on the man he might want to replace.

"Legislators don't forge the compromise. The governor has to forge the compromise," said Daley.

A special session was called last summer to solve the pension crisis. Nothing was resolved then, and few are optimistic now.


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