SPRINGFIELD – Unlike 2010, the public-sector unions may not throw their full endorsement to Democrat Governor Pat Quinn in 2014. This week, the Service Employees International Union spokesman Adam Rosen told the Associated Press that both State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and State Senator Kirk Dillard has approached SEIU, looking for union support.
Rosen told the AP the union has met with two Republican gubernatorial bidders seeking future endorsements. Republican state Sen.Kirk Dillard and state treasurer Dan Rutherford both spoke out against the pension plan, which passed by narrow margins.
SEIU, as part of the “We Are One” Coalition that opposed the pension reform bill Quinn signed into law Thursday, says it is open to supporting either a Republican or a Democrat in the upcoming election.
“We Are One” complains the pension reform plan raises the retirement age, cuts into the compounded annual COLA hikes and “breaks a promise” made by the Illinois legislature. Retirees will lose more, the older they get, the coalition says. They plan to take the reform plan to court.
Of the four GOP gubernatorial candidates, only State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), who served on the pension reform committee, voted to support the plan.
Dillard voted “no”, and Chicago businessman Bruce Rauner urged opposition to the plan as well, saying the reform plan wasn’t bold enough. Rauner told a Chicago radio show this week he plans to set up a PAC to assist those incumbents that voted against the plan.
State Treasurer Dan Rutherford said the bill would likely be judged unconstitutional, an argument the unions agree with.