SPRINGFIELD– State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) is disappointed Governor Pat Quinn and Democrat leaders in the General Assembly continued to delay action to reform the state’s crumbling pension systems.
The General Assembly canceled its scheduled sessions Thursday, ending the first week of the two-week veto session a day early. The legislature isn’t scheduled to return to Springfield again until November 5.
“Since we last left Springfield in July, the estimated pension liability has grown by more than $1 billion,” said Syverson. “But instead of actually working to find a solution, the Governor and legislative leaders have decided to put the tough decisions off a little longer.’”
Syverson says Democrat leaders who have controlled the legislature for the 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 and returned for special session days in July. 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 state in the nation.
“We know this is going to be difficult to do,” said Syverson. “But we have to be honest with employees, retirees, and taxpayers who already know the current system is not sustainable and is on its way to insolvency. We were elected to take the difficult votes. That’s what leadership is.”
Syverson called on state leaders to bring a pension bill up for a vote as soon as the legislature returns to Springfield November 5.
“Waiting until 2014 is irresponsible and costly,” said Syverson. “The time to act is now.”