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New House GOP Leader Questions Talk Of Pension Deal

Mon, 30 Sep 2013 15:39:26 CDT
By: Willis Kern

New House GOP Leader Questions Talk Of Pension Deal
The newest leader in state government says he doubts pension reform will become reality during the upcoming fall veto session. Republican House Minority Leader Jim Durkin says it's not right to vote for something that's close to ideal just because there is fatigue surrounding the issue.

"The issue needs to be done but we have to do it right. But I'm not going to just wave the white flag out of expediency because people have been worn down, their tired of the issue, they want to get it off their plates."

Durkin, who took over for Tom Cross as minority leader last week, says he favors having a set figure for retirement cost of living increases rather than a compounding COLA which negotiators seem to be embracing. Durkin says controlling costs is the most important factor of pension reform.

Durkin says his personal religious convictions cause him to oppose gay marriage, but he acknowledged the likelihood it may someday be the law of the land.

"They've been able to achieve a lot in a very short amount of time. We just have to go back a little bit in history, back in the last lame duck session where they produced an income tax increase, repealed the death penalty, and passed a civil union bill within a 48 hour period with just Democratic votes."

While Durkin points out the Democrats huge majorities in Springfield, he cautions same-sex marriage is not a Democratic or Republican issue. The Western Springs Republican appeared on GLT's Sound Ideas.


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