Governor Pat Quinn’s latest report on the state of Illinois finances seems like the movie “Groundhog Day” – we just keep waking up to the same old story.
Illinois plans to spend $507 million more than it will take in this fiscal year ending June 30.
This is true in spite of the fact that there was a 67 percent increase in the state income tax rate and budget cuts that were enacted by the legislature this year.
Gov. Quinn says going forward, he wants to spare any cuts to health care and education which will mean deeper cuts in other areas including public safety.
What continues to be ignored is the giant white elephant in the room “pension costs” - these costs have now risen to almost 20 percent of the total budget. And include $83 billion in unfunded liabilities.
Why isn’t the governor showing true leadership and taking on this pension issue?
Why not join with House Speaker Madigan and Party leaders and make pension reform a top priority?
Sorry Governor, but your latest suggestion of convening a task force to come up with recommendations is just another scene from 'Groundhog Day'.
Many members of the legislature continue to hide behind the language contained in the Illinois constitution that prohibits any retroactive changes to pensions.
We must demand that our legislative leaders summon the political will and deal with this huge issue.
I believe that the citizens of Illinois are now demanding that lawmakers take the bull by the horns and begin by fully funding the current pension funds.
And immediately deal with a long term solution to the enormous gap in funding – we can’t afford to delay any longer.
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