Senator Jim Oberweis issued a statement about Governor Pat Quinn’s budget speech, presented to a joint session of Illinois lawmakers March 6 in the chambers of the House of Representatives.
“I was very pleased with the fact that the Governor recognized the extreme problems caused by years of offering too many pension sweeteners without meeting state funding obligations,” Senator Oberweis said. “He knows the importance of reforming that system; however, he has not demonstrated the leadership needed to solve this problem.”
The 25th District Senator said he is willing to work in a bipartisan manner to address Illinois’ budget crisis, but Governor Quinn and Democrat legislative leaders first need to start working together.
“Not only do the Democrats have control of the Governorship, they have supermajorities in both the House and the Senate. The Governor must work with his leaders – with Mike Madigan and John Cullerton – to fix this problem,” Senator Oberweis said. “And if they can’t come to an agreement, then it is time to let the rest of us come to the table with our ideas.
“Following private industry’s lead, government pensions must move to a defined contribution plan from the current defined benefit plan system, which has gotten us into so much trouble,” he added. “The Illinois Policy Institute has just proposed such a plan. Their plan is the best solution to our unfunded liability that I have seen.”
(Read the Senate Republican Staff complete analysis of Governor Quinn's proposed 2014 Budget. Also available are copies of the Governor's official budget book and capital construction book.)