In The News
I had the opportunity to sit down with Fox Chicago’s political editor Mike Flannery for his Sunday show and talk about pension reform, politics and the state budget.
You can view the Fox Chicago Sunday program here.
For nearly a decade, I have been speaking about the need to reform our public pension systems to stop them from draining the state’s financial resources and consuming valuable tax dollars needed for education, public safety and human resource programs. The legislative pension working group, along with key members of Governor Quinn’s administration, met regularly this spring and were close to a consensus. We met again in Chicago Tuesday.
Last week, I joined Carol Marin of Chicago Tonight and my legislative colleagues in a roundtable discussion of the pension funding situation here in Illinois.
Governor Quinn has called the General Assembly into a special session August 17 to address pension reforms for the state’s public employees and educators. I think the Governor’s move was more PR than substance, but I am ready to work as long as necessary to reach a successful solution to our state’s unfunded pension liability that safeguards the future of both our public employees' retirement benefits and the state's fiscal well-being.
You can listen to my interview with WJBC-AM here.
Central Illinois lawmakers applaud 90 day health insurance contract, vow to continue to fight
Seven Central Illinois lawmakers agree on the latest turn in the health insurance contract fight.
"Let me start by saying we’re sorry. This is an embarrassing moment for the State of Illinois,” State Senator Bill Brady said. He the other lawmakers, speaking in Normal today, say they’ll have to put pressure on the governor’s office to fix the issue. State Representative Bill Mitchell says the healthcare provider switch affects people’s lives, and he doesn’t think the governor understands that.
“So, I’ve invited Governor Quinn, and I invite him today, to come to downstate Illinois, come to my district, and why don’t you take questions from these people who don’t know where their healthcare is gonna come from.”
The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability unanimously approved a plan at an emergency hearing Tuesday in Chicago. The vote gives the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services the power to negotiate 90-day health insurance contracts that will start July 1. Officials say without the new contracts, thousands of state employees would’ve been forced to choose new health care providers that, in some cases, were far from their existing ones.