SPRINGFIELD– State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) says Democrat leaders are wasting hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars by continuing to delay action on meaningful pension reform.
Members of the House and Senate voted Wednesday during a special session to send two competing pension reform proposals to a conference committee made up of five senators and five representatives.
Syverson says Democrat leaders who have controlled the legislature for last 12 years have had a decade to resolve the issue. This year, legislators were in session six months, until May 31, with no resolution. Instead, Syverson says, the failure to address this crisis has left taxpayers on the hook as the pension debt grows by $17 million a day. The state’s unfunded pension liability is already estimated at over $100 billion more than any other other state in country.
“Since the legislature adjourned on May 31, the pension debt has grown by $323 million,” said Syverson. “If we don’t get a resolution on pension reform in the next two weeks, the debt grows by another $300 million. How many Illinois taxpayers have to pay taxes for a lifetime just to cover what the state has lost the last two weeks?”
Syverson says taxpayers were also on the hook for about $40,000 to bring the legislature back to Springfield for one day simply to form the conference committee.
“This continues to be an epic failure of leadership in our state, and the people of Illinois are demanding action,” said Syverson. “It is not fair to retirees, active workers, or taxpayers to put this problem off any longer.”
Syverson says he’s hopeful the conference committee can finish its work soon so meaningful pension reform may be enacted as soon as possible. Syverson says many legislators stood against actions creating the problem, but are willing to join in and make tough votes to solve the crisis.