Monday, August 20, 2012

Springfield Public Pension Insanity

This press release from candidate Mark Shaw for Illinois House (58th) may best sum up the frustrations of Illinois citizens on the never ending issue of State of Illinois public pensions, which are now the most underfunded of all 50 states.  The funds are so badly underfunded that Illinois is being threatened with a reduction in its credit rating, making future borrowing even more costly. With such a massive threat looming, the response of the Democratic dominated Illinois General Assembly was to do .  .  .  nothing!  Since then, posturing and finger-pointing has replaced doing .  .  . nothing! 

The Shaw press release is reprinted below:

"Mark Shaw Calls for Special Session Cost Reimbursement

LAKE FOREST - 58th District State Representative candidate Mark Shaw called upon every member of the Illinois Senate and House to return any payment received for attending the sham Special Session of the Illinois General Assembly on Friday.  Shaw also criticized Governor Quinn and House Speaker Madigan for their role in creating the pension problems and failing to cure the crisis in order to prevent further reductions of Illinois' bond ratings.

"Illinois generates another $12 million in unfunded pension debt every day this pension crisis is allowed to continue. The Special Session was supposed to address the problem, but no real attempt was made by the Governor or Speaker Madigan. Legislative leaders met just a few hours before the session started to craft a solution to an $83 billion dollar problem 20 years in the making," said Shaw. "Because this was designed from the beginning as a pre-election publicity stunt, I am calling upon Governor Quinn and House Speaker Madigan to reach into their multi-million dollar PAC funs filled with public employee labor union donations and reimburse the Illinois State Treasury for the cost of this stunt.  Not just the legislator salaries, but the legislative staff, the janitors, the security guards, the secretaries, the electricity, the gas and the water and sewer - everything,"

Democratic Senate President John Cullerton sent all Senators home prior to the House voting on a pension bill that failed.

"Even if there was a meaningful piece of legislation to vote on, it couldn't have passed both houses because the Senators went home. Even Democratic State Representative Daniel Biss said of his colleagues: 'We all look like idiots'," said Shaw. "My opponent Scott Drury, is one of Mike Madigan's handpicked back benchers presumably ready to vote the Speaker's will. I want to go to Springfield to fix Illinois' pension crisis and spending addiction and I will not leave until I do."

- 30 -

The Patch publications have a recap of the Special Session and the Illinois Public Pension crisis. Although generally well written, no Republican legislators were interviewed.  Rep. Biss' quote appears in that article and Rep. Lang, another Democrat, complained that it was difficult to work that day because it was sunny and 85 degrees outside. The editorial pages of Illinois' major newspapers were pretty harsh over the failure of the Special Session to resolve this crisis.  It should be noted that before the Illinois House voted on "pension reform," the Illinois Senate had already adjourned for the day.

Governor Quinn elected to blame the minority party in Springfield, the Republicans, for this mess. The only person not being blamed for the last decade of financial mismanagement in Springfield is  .   .   .  President George Bush!

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