By Jamey Dunn
Gov. Pat Quinn fielded some questions after the telecommunications news conference. He told reporters that the General Assembly didn’t do its job on the budget, and he expects the Senate to be back by the end of the month.
“I do believe the General Assembly let the people down by not really engaging in the process the way they should. I think we needed more revenue in our budget. I think we needed the General Assembly to put their names on specific cuts that they were thinking appropriate. But instead, they delegated everything to me. And so I have a lump sum budget,” he said.
Quinn added, “We’re going to have to have some serious cuts in order to make it through.”
The governor said he has not ruled out the plan to borrow about $4 billion to make the state’s required pension payment for the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1. He said he fully expects the Senate to return in the last days of June for a vote. Quinn believes the bill has enough support to pass as soon as legislators get back from their vacations.
“I actually think there’s probably enough votes now. They have to get their vacations and all this and that in order. But I expect them by the end of the month to come together. I mean this is what government is about. If you get sworn into office to protect the common good and carry out the public interest, then you have to be there when it counts.”
Quinn said he hasn’t gotten the other components of budget yet, but he expects they will also come to his desk near the end of the month.