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January 11, 2013

Super moves by majority?

Democrats control Springfield now. Totally. They have veto-proof majorities in both the state House and Senate. Any bills passed will be sent for signature to Gov. Pat Quinn, also a Democrat.

So we can expect quick action on major issues, right? Spending priorities will be set, bills will be paid and state employees’ pensions will be reformed, correct? Democratic leaders all agree that the $96 billion in pension debt is the top issue, that the state’s credit rating will take yet another hit if the problem isn’t addressed quickly. Well, now the Democrats can act because the Republicans have no power to stop or even slow down anything.

Of course, absolute power is a blessing and a curse. Democrats have no cover anymore either, no one to point a finger at if they make an unpopular decision or conversely, put off a decision for another day. If the state employee unions or taxpayers don’t like what Democratic lawmakers decide — or fail to do — there is no doubt about whom to blame.

With great power comes great responsibility to run the state efficiently and effectively and to solve problems. We’ll find out quickly whether the Democratic supermajority is up to the task.

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