Gov. Pat Quinn continues to push for a plan that would shift pension costs for teachers from the state to school districts. Quinn says some people aren’t thinking straight when it comes to the good that would come from shifting pension costs. “Most school districts, I think, would be much better off with general state aid to education steady and growing rather than being cut, and I think they’re missing on this whole debate on public pension reform,” Quinn said.
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Quinn says finding more money for education and public safety isn’t that hard. He continues to push on reforms when it comes to tax loopholes that benefit big business. “These loopholes, some of them, are not created for economics and job creation. They’re all political,” Quinn said. One example, he says, is a provision in the state tax code that exempts oil company platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. “They don’t have to pay Illinois income taxes, but they should, and that costs our state treasury $75 million or so a year,” Quinn said. “Well, I’d rather spend that money on education then giving out a tax break to oil companies that don’t need it.”
The Senate has a bill that deals with the State Employee Retirement System, but Quinn believes all the state’s retirement systems should be reformed at once. He has hinted at calling lawmakers to Springfield in mid-August.