Governor Pat Quinn is urging business owners to support his plans for overhauling state employee pensions and Medicaid. He spoke to a gathering of Illinois manufacturers and retailers in Springfield. Rachel Otwell has the report:
The Democratic governor wants businesses’ help in pushing the legislature to approve new funding plans for two of the state’s biggest economic drains.
GOVERNOR PAT QUINN: “And now is the time to summon the people of Illinois behind a reform package of restructuring our Medicaid and stabilizing and strengthening our pension systems.”
Quinn’s already come out with his own suggestions. With pensions, he wants to hike the retirement age and have employees pay more. For Medicaid he recommends cutting programs, and hiking the tax on cigarettes.
Mark Denzler is vice president of the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association.
MARK DENZLER: “Well Illinois businesses want to operate in a state that’s not bankrupt, that’s not on the edge of a fiscal abyss. So it’s important that the state of Illinois, the Governor and General Assembly address pensions and Medicaid which are spiraling out of control, so we applaud the Governor’s message for fiscal restraint, for reforming pensions and Medicaid, and we think it’s a movement in the right direction.”
It’s unclear if lawmakers will keep going in that direction, however.