Gov. Quinn, Illinois lawmakers must fix pension problem - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Gov. Quinn, Illinois lawmakers must fix pension problem

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Governor Quinn unveiled a long overdue plan to reform the public pension system in Illinois.

"I didn't create the problem, but I'm here to solve it. I know that I was put on earth to get this done," Quinn said in a statement.

This is truly an amazing statement coming from someone who basically refused to acknowledge the giant white pension elephant in the room in his first years in office.

Quinn of course was discouraged from any action by the large public employee unions like AFSCME and the AFLCIO - the good news is his plan would result in these pensions being 100 percent funded by 2042 and save approximately $65 billion to taxpayers in Illinois by 2045.

The bad news it's going to take 30+ years to get there.

The following are the key components of his plan to retool the public pensions:

  1. Increase public employee contributions by 3 percent
  2. Reduce the cost of living to the lesser of 3 percent or half the consumer price index
  3. Increase the retirement age to 67 for current employees
  4. Require the state to put the already agreed to funding amounts back into the system over several years

In recent months we have been asking the governor to take the leadership role in dealing with this colossal problem that is crippling state government.

He has taken the first step. Now the legislature must do its job with bipartisan cooperation to draft the legislation.

We cannot kick the can down the road any longer. We must make sure our representatives in the General Assembly hear from all of us that we must have pension reform legislation before the May 31 adjournment.

Illinois Deserves Better.

We'd like to hear from you. E-mail your comments to editorial@foxchicago.com because Illinois Deserves Better.

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