Gov. Pat Quinn is hoping Democratic leaders will focus on economic growth. In a meeting with Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) and Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) this (Wednesday) afternoon, Quinn hopes to get the two on board with growing the state’s economy with job creation.
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“I think we do want to listen carefully to our president, Barack Obama, from the state of Illinois,” Quinn said ahead of the meeting. “He inspired the nation, he inspire me and I’m sure he inspired our speaker of the House Mike Madigan and president of the Senate John Cullerton to just roll up our sleeves and redouble our efforts for jobs.” Asked about moving his agenda forward, Quinn says he has a good record, citing the passage of the civil union bill, reforming workers compensation and other measures he worked on. He says his agenda now is economic growth. “That’s what I get up in the morning, every day, thinking about,” Quinn said. Quinn and other Democratic leaders are also looking at asking school district and universities to play a bigger role in funding their teachers’ retirement plans. “I think it’s always best when you have employees, that you not be able to shift cost of those employees to someone else, such as state government,” Quinn said. “I think when you do that you don’t take enough interest in your employees so, I do think those that are the employers do need to participate in financing the retirement cost of their employees.” Quinn says it is time to examine the issue of universities and schools contributing little or nothing to the Teachers Retirement System and the State Universities Retirement System.