Quinn launches website in pensions campaign


Share
Originally Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2012, 4:07 pm
Last Updated: Nov. 18, 2012, 5:09 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
Related stories

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn launched a website Sunday outlining a brief history of public pensions, its fiscal problems and ways to discuss solutions through social media, part of the Chicago Democrat's long-awaited campaign to build public support for an overhaul of Illinois' underfunded pension system.

The website, http://thisismyillinois.com, includes an at times tongue-in-check video that shows a simplified history of pensions dating back to ancient Rome. It also details the state's five public pension systems and says online town hall meetings to give feedback are coming soon.

State officials said Sunday that the idea is to provide details about Illinois' fiscal problems in an easy-to-comprehend way and allow the public to give feedback. It's called the 'Thanks in Advance' campaign, which is purportedly a message from the next generation to today's politicians, and the website has links to Twitter and a Facebook page.

'Using the tools of social media, it's a way for the next generation ... to send a message to today's leaders about the need to act in this pressing issue,' Quinn said at a news conference. 'The issue of pension reform is the most urgent issue of our time, certainly of our decade.'

Quinn, who has vowed to overhaul the state's pension problem, has been promising details of his so-called grass-roots campaign since August, but pushed back the timeline several times.

Illinois lawmakers have failed to come up with a plan to deal with the roughly $85 billion funding gap, the largest shortfall of any state in the nation. Talks between legislative leaders have gone nowhere and a special session on pension reform earlier this year was unproductive.

Part of the problem has been disagreement on the approach.

Quinn and other Democrats support a plan where suburban Chicago and downstate schools begin picking up their own pension costs, which the state currently pays. Chicago Public Schools already pays its own pension costs. Illinois Republicans have largely opposed shifting the costs, saying such an approach would cause property taxes to rise.

The governor has said now that the Nov. 6 elections are over, he hopes lawmakers will address the issue. They meet later this month.

The governor didn't offer details on what was next after the launch of his campaign. He said he hoped to start public dialogue.

Quinn has said he believes a pension overhaul can be passed by the end of the legislative session, which is in January.

Related Stories














 



Local events heading








  Today is Sunday, April 20, the 110th day of 2014. There are 255 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The attention of contractors is called to proposals for building a magazine. The building is to be erected on the south side of the island, above the railroad, nearly opposite Sinnit's ice houses.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Ladies patent leather tip shoes were selling for $3 at the M & K store, and men's spring overcoats were advertised at $7.50.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Fred Feuchter, of Davenport, was elected president of the Tri-City Post Office Clerks club, and Joe Goldsmith, of Rock Island, was named secretary treasurer.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Mass vaccination of more than 1,600 employed of the Rock Island Arsenal has been ordered by Col. Norman Ramsey after a 13-year-old daughter of the Arsenal manager became ill with smallpox.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The 1964 Scout-O-Rama of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts closed a two-day session last evening at the Rock Island Armory with 5,000 paid attendance.
1989 -- 25 years ago: "From the horse and buggy days ... to this" said Mercer County Sheriff Marvin Thirtyacre, waving his hand to indicate the sheriff's department facilities at the new $1.5 million Mercer County Jail in Aledo.




(More History)