GOP officials celebrated Republican Day at the
House Republican Leader
"I think Mike needs to look in the mirror and accept the fact that he's been here for 40 years, and every single problem we have has his fingerprints on it," said Cross, adding, "We all need to act like adults, quit the politics and get this done."
Cross' comments picked right up on the overwhelming round of boos that Quinn, Madigan and other Democrats received during their own day at the fair Wednesday. Hordes of angry union workers minced no words voicing their opposition to any Democratic effort to cut pensions, including shouting down the governor at his own rally.
"Have you ever seen such a muddle on the Democratic end in your life?" asked GOP Comptroller
"When you see Democrats fighting within their ranks like that," Topinka said, "sometimes you just want to stand back and watch it explode."
Quinn wants lawmakers to pass comprehensive changes for four state pension systems covering elected officials, university workers, rank-and-file state government workers, and the suburban and downstate public school teachers.
The most contentious part would require workers and retirees to make a choice on whether to take less for their pensions or give up health care. Retirees are angry because they believe the state had guaranteed their pensions would not be reduced and promised that their health benefits would always be provided.
Madigan also has added a condition in the teacher pension plan that is unacceptable to Republicans. He has called for gradually shifting the state's annual costs of up to $800 million onto local school districts.
Madigan's argument is that Chicago property taxpayers already cover the costs of public school teachers in Chicago, and Quinn is on board with making the change.
Cross and Senate Republican Leader