General Assembly Fails Taxpayers
SPRINGFIELD, IL — Reacting to the General Assembly’s failure to pass any significant pension reform on its last day of legislative session, AFP-Illinois State Director David From criticized the General Assembly for their lack of action on the state’s most pressing fiscal issue and urged Governor Quinn to call the legislature into special session next week to deal with the rapidly expanding pension debt crisis.
“The state legislature’s failure to pass pension reform is a dangerous deficiency of leadership that further imperils the already decaying fiscal health of the state,” said From. “Responsibility for possible bond rating downgrades resulting from the unwillingness of the legislature to deal with Illinois’s most dire fiscal problem will lie at the feet of our state legislators, but the cost will be added to the taxpayers’ already heavy burden.”
Despite years of warnings from government and civic organizations detailing the growing pension crisis, the General Assembly was unable to pass any reform of the nation’s worst funded state pension system, with over $86 billion in unfunded liabilities. In recent weeks, AFP-Illinois mounted a campaign for reform, running radio ads in Chicago and downstate, sending mailers into over twenty legislative districts and mobilizing hundreds of activists to directly contact their legislators.
“It is telling of the problems in Springfield that the General Assembly was unable to address the most important fiscal issue facing the state, yet found the will (and votes) to pass massive gambling expansion and new tax hikes,” continued From. “Governor Quinn must call the GA back into special session as soon as possible to address pension reform and assure taxpayers, businesses and rating agencies that Illinois is serious about dealing with its fiscal mess. Significant action cannot be put off until November. Illinois must have meaningful pension reform now.”