Quinn lacks details on pension reform, upsets area lawmakers - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Quinn lacks details on pension reform, upsets area lawmakers

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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn calls pensions the toughest issue the state faces, but does not give a lot of detail on how to fix it. Rockford area legislators say they were waiting to hear more about pension reform but were instead given a push to raise the minimum wage and enact more gun control.

"We cannot allow our economic recovery to be held hostage by the pension crisis. We simply must act," says Governor Pat Quinn.

The governor says Illinois is losing $17-million a day by not putting pension reform in place. He threw his support behind Senate Bill 1 which is a hybrid of previous reform bills. But some leaders say this is nothing new, if Quinn wants reform, he needs to lead it.

"If the governor was serious he will require leaders to stay down here until significant reforms are passed. Just talking about it does not get it done," says Senator Dave Syverson.

Legislators from the Rockford area were also upset by Governor Quinn's plan to raise minimum wage by 20-percent to $10 an hour.

"I believe that's going to be a business killer," says Representative John Cabello.

Democratic Representative Chuck Jefferson says high school or college students usually work those jobs, or are the ones who should and they can live with the rate of $8.25 an hour.

"It's not going to support a family either way in those service jobs so we need to look for more factories, look for more addition jobs that are going to be living wage paying jobs," says Representative Jefferson.

When it comes to safety in the state the governor wants more gun control. Quinn proposes a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

"We are punishing the law abiding citizen. No matter what type of law we try to pass the criminals will still not abide by that," says Representative Cabello.

"A better proposal would be to continue to focus on metal health issues and preventing those folks from obtaining any sort of weapon," says Representative Joe Sosnowski.

Quinn also put his support behind the gay marriage bill passed by a senate committee. The measure could come up for a vote next Thursday, Valentine's Day.

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