SPRINGFIELD — One of Illinois’ most influential labor unions denied Monday that nearly $100,000 it contributed to a campaign fund controlled by House Speaker Michael Madigan was part of a “quid pro quo” designed to kill a pension-reform package in his legislative chamber last week.
State campaign records show SEIU Healthcare Illinois and SEIU Illinois Council collectively poured donations totaling $97,000 into the Democratic Majority fund last Friday, the same day a special legislative session called by Gov. Pat Quinn to fix Illinois’ $83 billion pension crisis ended in failure.
Madigan (D-Chicago) wouldn’t allow a floor vote on Senate-passed legislation that would have reeled in pension benefits for state workers and General Assembly members and only allowed a procedural vote on a slimmed-down measure affecting just lawmakers’ pensions. That latter plan wound up being positioned for a final House vote but was six votes shy of the necessary 60 votes it would need to move to the Senate.
“These contributions have no relationship to the special session called by Gov. Quinn. Fewer than 10 percent of our 170,000 members statewide have pensions administered by the State of Illinois,” said Genie Kastrup, executive director of SEIU Illinois Council, in a prepared statement.
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