In a recent post, we asked the many active, alert, informed, and patriotic Illinois citizens to send a message to the pension conference committee, demanding real pension reform.
That post led to over seven hundred email messages calling for real reform going to the conference committee.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to send those messages!
The Illinois pension drama creeps along from day to day with no sign of resolution. As we all know, when the House and Senate went home after failing to come up with a pension reform bill, they appointed a “conference committee” to “do something” about the “pension crisis.”
Governor Quinn told the conference committee to come up with a proposal by July 9, 2013. That deadline has passed. Because they failed to meet his deadline, Governor Quinn has frozen legislators’ pay until they come up with a proposal. That may move things along, but there is no way to know when the conference committee will submit a proposal for pension reform.
Since the conference committee is still deliberating, there is time to give them some good ideas to consider.
- Daniel Biss, D-Skokie
- Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago
- Linda Holmes, D-Aurora
- Matt Murphy, R-Palatine
- Bill Brady, R-Bloomington
- Elaine Nekritz, D-Buffalo Grove
- Art Turner, D-Chicago
- Mike Zalewski, D-Riverside
- Darlene Senger, R-Naperville
- Jil Tracy, R-Quincy
It is long past time for basic change to the Illinois public pension system. We recently found out the Illinois budget situation is even worse than the politicians were willing to admit. Actually, its about twice as bad. Illinois taxpayers are not on the hook for $100 billion, but more like $200 billion. When Governor Quinn says “This is an emergency. This is a crisis,” he is absolutely right.
House Bill 3303 and its companion Senate Bill 2026, will cut Illinois’ unfunded pension debt in half. This real reform plan will establish a fully funded defined contribution plan, which will give employees far more control over their own retirement funds. Adopting some mashup of the Madigan-Cullerton plan, the proposal we expect to get from the conference committee, is not going to solve this “emergency” and “crisis”.
Let’s keep this message fresh. Let’s remind the conference committee once again that there really is a better alternative for Illinois, and they should have the courage to propose it.
We know one thing for sure: They won’t do it if we don’t ask them!
Please take this opportunity to make historic and much-needed change in Illinois.