A potential candidate for governor is articulating the state’s problems, but not yet offering solutions. It’s the state’s unfunded pension liability of $95 billion, and the $5.2 billion the state is contributing to pension funds this year to keep up, says former U.S. Commerce secretary and White House chief of staff William M. Daley.
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“Every other state has faced the same terrible national economy since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008. Every other state has pension obligations and big bills to pay. But Moody’s is telling us [in a credit outlook downgrade last week] Illinois has done a uniquely poor job of confronting these challenges,” he said in a speech Thursday afternoon to the City Club of Chicago, a civic organization.
Daley says he’s seriously thinking about running for governor, but hasn’t decided yet. He says a candidate for governor should have an outline of how he’d solve the problem, but since he’s not a candidate yet, he doesn’t have a solution. Daley was commerce secretary under President Clinton, and briefly chief of staff for the Obama White House. He was also the chairman of the Al Gore presidential campaign in 2000.
Gov. Pat Quinn has said he’ll seek re-election in 2014, and he’s prepared for any challenger in a Democratic primary.