SPRINGFIELD - The Wall Street Journal today calls Illinois Republicans a "useless minority", writing:
Democrats hold comfortable majorities in the legislature and don't need GOP votes. Yet they are demanding Republican support so they won't be the only targets of union wrath. Mr. Quinn watered down the reforms to reduce opposition from the teachers and other government unions, but the unions are still promising to go to court to block the changes if they pass.
GOP leaders who are rounding up votes must be feeling especially charitable this holiday season because they're making an in-kind contribution to Mr. Quinn, who will claim a bipartisan victory as he runs for re-election. While GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner has denounced the pension legislation as window-dressing, his Republican primary challengers aren't as savvy. State Senator Bill Brady, who lost to Mr. Quinn in 2010, is supporting the bill while treasurer Dan Rutherford says it is too hard on unions. Such me-too thinking is why the Illinois GOP has become a useless minority.
In return for their votes, Republicans ought to demand durable pension fixes modelled on the reforms that Democrats in Rhode Island passed in 2011, which suspended cost-of-living adjustments and modified future benefits for all current workers. Municipalities including Chicago should also be covered by any reform. Anything less is a guarantee of future fiscal trouble and a gift to Illinois Democrats.
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