Quinn Talks Concealed Carry, Gambling, Pensions
Gov. Pat Quinn's plate is pretty full these days. In addition to concealed carry, he's dealing with pension reform, gaming expansion, and the always-delicate issue of union negotiations.
Despite Quinn's rocky relationship with AFSCME, a union that represents thousands of state employees, his relationship with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers appears to be okay. At the union's spring conference in Springfield, the Democrat was met with applause.
"We do have a good rapport, and he listens to us when we come to him with issues important to the IBEW and all the building trades folks," Michael Herbert of IBEW Local 601 in Champaign said.
But while the IBEW liked what they heard from Quinn, those for concealed carry will not. A decision by the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Illinois must put together a concealed carry law within 180 days. Quinn, however, wants Attorney General Lisa Madigan to pursue an appeal to this ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court. She hasn't decided on that yet.
"To just have a federal court mandate to have a loaded weapon, concealed on a person, and allowed in a public place, that's a pretty serious matter," Quinn said.
A new gaming expansion measure, which already passed a Senate committee, includes banning political contributions from gaming licensees. Quinn has vetoed previous gaming expansion bills, in part because they did not include a political contribution ban.
"There is a lot of detail in any gambling bill, so we have to look at everything," Quinn said.
Then there's pension reform. Quinn said every day without it, the state falls another $17 million in the red. Despite no bill on his desk, he said there is steady progress.
"That's our focus," Quinn said. "We have to work behind the scenes and in public about that issue."
Earlier this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged the state with securities fraud. The SEC said Illinois misled bond investors about pension fund obligations. In response, Quinn said he has worked with the commission to settle the matter, but, "the order speaks for itself, and that's all I want to say on it."
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