Democratic Governor Pat Quinn is asking business leaders to help him pass legislation that will require harsh cuts for union members and poor families.
Quinn says Illinois must control the growing cost of government pensions and health care. He proposes cutting pension benefits and Medicaid by billions of dollars. Quinn spoke to a business conference Wednesday and asked for help in meeting what he calls the challenge of our time: "I did not create this pension problem, I did not create the Medicaid problem. But my job is here to solve that problem, with your help. Because this is the moment."
Unions object to the pension cuts, saying they penalize workers for decades of government failures. Social service advocates say cutting Medicaid will hurt people who need the most help and kill thousands of jobs. Some business leaders commended the Governor for trying to solve the funding problems in the state.