Quick Hit Adam Doster Thursday October 7th, 2010, 4:40pm

Adding Context To The Labor Deal Debate

Gov. Pat Quinn is getting thrown under the bus for the deal he struck with AFSCME Council 31 to avoid state employee layoffs. For those just getting caught up, the Quinn administration has promised it won't cut any state jobs or close any facilities until June 30, 2012 if the public employees union makes changes to its group health insurance plan that will save $70 million and identifies an additional $50 million in cuts by the end of October. (The union has set a savings goal of $100 million.) In a piece for the State Journal-Register today, Chris Wetterich quotes several lawmakers who argue Quinn should have asked for more details about how the public employees union plans to reduce costs before he finalized the agreement. That critique is fair, to a point. But let's not forget that the bargain is voided if the union doesn't make clear this month how its members choose to cut costs. (Budget spokesperson Kelly Kraft confirmed that for us today.) That piece of context seems important.

Speaking of labor deals, GOP gubernatorial nominee Bill Brady seems to have one cooking up on his own. During the gubernatorial debate last week, he suggested that he would exempt the state's public safety budget from his 10 percent cuts. Who is Brady's only major labor endorsement? The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police.  Seems to undercut his quid-pro-quo attack line, doesn't it?

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