Gov. Pat Quinn is urging an influential group of business leaders in Chicago to add their weight to his push for reforms to Illinois' debt-laden Medicaid and public pension systems. He's calling it "a rescue operation."
With little more than two weeks left in the legislative session, the Democratic governor has gone on the offensive and turned to unlikely allies in the business community to pressure lawmakers. On the other side are unions and advocates for the poor who say the reforms will hurt the most vulnerable.
Quinn told the City Club of Chicago on Monday that the two programs are taking a nearly 40 percent bite out of the state budget. That's putting what he calls a "serious squeeze" on spending for things like education and public safety.