PARK RIDGE, IL – Illinois Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) sent a letter to local media outlets, putting pressure on the Illinois House to call pension reform legislation (House Bill 1447) that already passed the Senate earlier this year. Below is the text of Kotowski’s letter:
It’s time for the House to vote on HB1447, the pension reform bill passed by the Senate that reduces benefits to politicians, prevents future pension abuse and protects the investment of retired state employees. Action on this bill will save taxpayers an estimated $31 billion over the coming decades.
For too long, legislators from both sides of the aisle avoided making tough decisions regarding Illinois’ pension obligation and allowed the state’s pension liability to balloon to unsustainable levels.
The interest payment on this massive pension liability drains billions of dollars from the state’s budget, which takes resources from vital programs. The pension liability puts the state’s credit rating at risk: lowering the state’s bond rating and hamstringing our ability to attract outside investment.
In Illinois, our chickens have come home to roost. Springfield can no longer postpone the tough decision that it has been avoiding for years. The time for pension funding reform is now.
HB 1447, passed by the Senate, is another crucial step toward reducing Illinois’ pension obligation, but the House has not called the bill for a vote.
Speaker Madigan, Illinois cannot afford to wait. The House needs to act now. Call the bill, Mr. Speaker. Call the bill.