Gov. Pat Quinn was forthcoming Wednesday on exactly two topics. At an appearance in Springfield promoting capital construction projects at convention centers in four cities, the governor touted the importance of such centers. When it came to questions about other topics, the answers sounded, at best, the same. A bill the legislature passed about Chicago Park District pensions? Quinn said he read about it in the newspaper.
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“We’ll look at that bill as we do every other bill,” Quinn said, “and look at it very carefully, and make a decision based on how I feel the merits are.” Efforts to increase penalties for gun crimes? “When it comes to anything with public safety and criminal justice, I think we need to do it in a comprehensive way; a way that protects the public. I’ve signed bills dealing with those who commit crimes with guns.”
What about whether the income tax rate should stay at 5 percent after 2014? “We don’t know what are pension costs are, until we really address the pension reform issue.” Pension reform was also his answer to a question of whether lawmakers will return to Springfield between now and the end of 2013. As for what sort of corporate tax breaks the state should be offering, the governor walked away. The news conference took all of 20 minutes and included the presentation to Quinn of a pink guitar autographed by country music star Carrie Underwood.