With Gov. Pat Quinn on the losing end of a legislative battle that will raise electricity rates for consumers, some are curious about his relationship with legislative leaders in Springfield. Quinn says it’s his job to protect the people of Illinois and not be “pals” with legislative leaders. He was asked about his relationship with lawmakers at the Leadership Greater Chicago luncheon Monday.
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“I don’t agree with some people and I let them know by veto or other actions when I think the common good has got to be protected,” Quinn said. Examples he gave focused on his fight against legislation that passed in veto session last week that lets electricity companies raise rates in order to raise money for the construction of a smart grid. He also talked about a gambling expansion bill which he has tried to overhaul, despite what some lawmakers want. "If you want a go-along, get-along governor, you will have someone who will sign the [smart grid] bill and sock it to consumers and businesses and you’ll have a governor who will sign a wide open gambling bill without ethics and be a good pal of the legislative leaders and members,” Quinn said. “They all passed it. They think that’s the best thing since Swiss cheese, but I don’t. My job is to protect the public. I’ve come after two governors who, I think, let the public down. My job is to be a reform governor.” Quinn says even though he lost the fight over rate hikes, he’s proud of the fact that he initially vetoed the legislation.