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Our State Senators Aren't Happy With Quinn's Budget Address

Republicans Jim Oberweis and Karen McConnaughay, as you might expect, say this week's budget address is too heavy on spending and short on leadership. What do you think?

State Sens. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) and Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles) each reacted separately to Gov. Pat Quinn's March 6 budget address, but the theme is pretty much the same: too much spending and not enough leadership.

Oberweis pointed out "the extreme problems caused by years of offering too many pension sweeteners without meeting state funding obligations."

“He knows the importance of reforming that system; however, he has not demonstrated the leadership needed to solve this problem,” Oberweis said.

The 25th District senator said he is willing to work in a bipartisan manner to address Illinois’ budget crisis, but Quinn and Democrat legislative leaders first need to start working together.

“Not only do the Democrats have control of the governorship, they have super majorities in both the House and the Senate. The governor must work with his leaders — with Mike Madigan and John Cullerton — to fix this problem,” 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."

And those ideas are?

“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 said. “The Illinois Policy Institute has just proposed such a plan. Their plan is the best solution to our unfunded liability that I have seen.”

McConnaughay said the governor’s budget shows record-high state General Revenue Fund spending at $35.6 billion dollars, which includes an increase of $1.2 billion in spending.

“We were promised when they passed the temporary 67 percent income tax increase in 2011, that they would cut spending, reduce the pension liability and decrease the bill backlog," she said. “Since then, we have seen increases in spending, our backlog of bills and our deficit—and don’t forget about the multiple credit rating downgrades, making it increasingly costly to borrow money.”

Quinn called on the General Assembly to put a bill before him to sign, but McConnaughay said what he needs to do is identify opportunities to build consensus in both chambers.

"This is an all hands-on-deck effort that starts at the top," she said. "Leadership is sorely needed in this state and until we have that Illinois will continue on this unsustainable path.”

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G.Ryan March 09, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Gee, do they now plan to kick him out of the Boys Club now? Why can't Illinois find a governor who is dedicated to the integrity of this State instead of his gangster hood affiliations?
Jan March 09, 2013 at 09:47 PM
Because as we ALL know, the governor does NOT run the State of Illinois. Madigan does. And since he received a half a million in contributions from unions, that dictates what side he falls on. Hopefully the 22nd ward will elect someone ELSE and get rid of Mike.... but its doubtful. Until THAT happens, no governor will be able to wrestle control away from the speaker.
Mitch Dinges March 09, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Mike Madigan is Illinois' most dangerous politician and a detriment to any process to make the necessary changes.
Dick Naylor March 11, 2013 at 01:21 AM
Michael Madigan screams out for the need of TERM LIMITS!!
Dick Naylor March 11, 2013 at 01:22 AM
It is time WE back the need for and DEMAND our legislators pass TERM LIMITS legislation!!

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