Elmhurst lawmaker repaying Gov. Quinn for helping save his life?
SPRINGFIELD - Nearly six years ago, Pat Quinn may have had a role in saving Bob Biggins' life. Now Biggins, a Republican lawmaker from Elmhurst, may have helped save the governor's political bacon.
Biggins was one of two Republicans to cross party lines Tuesday and vote with Democrats on a plan to borrow nearly $3.7 billion to make required state pension contributions. His doing so gave the plan the bare minimum needed for approval.
Quinn had lobbied for the borrowing plan, and its rejection would have been an embarrassing blow for his administration. Both Quinn and Biggins have strongly denied any promises were made in exchange for Biggins' vote.
On Wednesday, Quinn said rumors that Biggins had been guaranteed a job in his administration were "completely ridiculous." Asked if that meant he'd never hire Biggins even if re-elected, Quinn launched into a story.
"Bob Biggins, I've known him for a long, long time," the governor said. He then related how one day years ago while attending to business at Chicago's City Hall, he came across Biggins, who'd had a stroke. Quinn called for emergency assistance.
Asked about the story, Biggins said that's what he'd been told by those there that day. He said Quinn was one of the first people to find him blacked out and was apparently the only one with a cell phone. Quinn then called for help.
Biggins attributed his recovery to the immediate medical assistance he received.
Biggins said the story did not come up Tuesday night when he met with one of Quinn's top aides and ultimately chose to switch his vote and support the borrowing plan.
And Biggins again said there's no quid pro quo involved.
The Elmhurst lawmaker, who's not running for re-election, also said he plans to serve out his full term.