Quinn stands behind Senate pension reform bill

By WEEK Producer

February 21, 2013 Updated Feb 22, 2013 at 11:55 AM CDT

NORMAL, Ill. -- Governor Pat Quinn says if pension reform is not resolved soon, the state will be paying more into the pension fund than into education.

On Wednesday, Chicago Democrat Lou Lang offered a new proposal. Lang said his plan is the only proposal that is constitutional and would not be caught up in lawsuits for years

The plan does contain several controversial elements, including extending the Illinois income tax increase, but it does reduce the amount of pension funding to 80 percent.

Still, the Governor is standing behind another, what some call unconstitutional, Senate Bill one.

"Well there are a lot of proposals on pension reform, and I commend anyone who comes forward with a proposal," said Gov. Quinn. "There is a bill though in the Illinois Senate, Senate bill one, that is sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton. I believe that is the best vehicle to go forward with on pension reform. There may be refinements, I think that is part of the process. But that is a better method going forward."

Governor Quinn was at Illinois State University on Thursday to announce a $54 million investment in the school to build a new fine arts complex.

The money will be used to help either renovate or replace three buildings on the ISU's campus. Quinn said the investment will not only foster new construction jobs in the area, but it will help foster the arts throughout the state.

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