CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross said Wednesday that he believes there’s an ulterior motive behind the ongoing pension reform standoff between House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton.
Lawmakers adjourned their spring session at the end of May without approving a plan for comprehensive reform of the state’s public employee pension systems. A plan backed by Madigan was soundly defeated in the Illinois Senate, while a plan backed by Cullerton never got a vote in the Illinois House.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Cross was brief and direct Wednesday when a reporter asked him if he believes Madigan and Cullerton have been working together to keep pension reform from happening.
“Yes,” Cross said.
Asked if it might have something to do with Madigan’s daughter, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, considering a bid for the governor’s office, Cross again simply answered “yes.”
Pushed for an explanation, Cross said “The two most powerful guys in the state of Illinois can get anything done. They passed a tax increase in the middle of the night; highest tax increase in the history of the state. Two guys that passed a pension holiday in the mid-2000s without blinking an eye can’t get this done? Seriously.”