The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

July 5, 2013

State's pension mess drags on far too long


DANVILLE — Once again, the inability of Illinois’ political leaders to agree on a solution to the state’s continuing pension crisis plays a role in local issues.

Pension were one of the factors in the recently ratified contract between District 118 schools and personnel represented by the Danville Education Association. With uncertainty and inaction being the norm for the past two years, neither side in local negotiations could see a clear course ahead.

Gov. Pat Quinn set another deadline for a solution — this one on Tuesday — for members of a special legislative committee to again ignore.

Lawmakers actually voted on pension reform proposals during their most recent session that ended in May, but could not agree on a compromise between elements in the state Senate’s plan and the one passed in the House.

Committee members started their work last moth hearing testimony — again — on the issue that should have been the General Assembly’s top priority for the past two years. The testimony appears to be little more than to give the committee the appearance of doing something — anything — about the problem while the final proposal is being worked on behind closed doors by legislative leaders.

The longer this inaction continues, the more taxpayers in Illinois will pay. Someone — anyone — needs to step forward and ramrod a remedy through the General Assembly. This issue has gone unresolved far too long.