Gov. Pat Quinn is ready to resume tackling the old problems in the new General Assembly, with pension restructuring again chief among them. Quinn says his experience as a cross-country runner in high school taught him something about persistence and patience.

“(Senate) President (John) Cullerton indicated Senate Bill 1 will be a pension reform measure. I talked to his staff, and they indicated it would cover the four major systems,” Quinn said. “They also indicated it would not include what is called the ‘school shift,’ so if we can get a bipartisan majority out of the Senate on that bill, I’m optimistic; then, we’ll get it over to the House, where we have, obviously, a lot of work still to do.”

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Quinn said he is disappointed the 97th General Assembly adjourned Tuesday without passing a pension bill. In fact, the House did not even call it for a vote. He’s aware the House and Senate do not always agree on legislation, and he said he is not too put out by Cullerton’s comments that Quinn is a good guy but not a very good governor, especially when it comes to passing legislation. “I’m not a member of the legislature,” Quinn said. “I can advocate for ideas and bills.”

Quinn’s also hopeful the lawmakers are able to pass same sex marriage and an assault weapons ban; he will sign the drivers-licenses-for-immigrants bill, and he re-affirms his dislike of a casino bill from 2011 which has made it to his desk.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/