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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:52pm
Mon Jul 15, 2013

Sen. Biss Discusses The State Of Illinois Pension Reform At Heated Public Meeting

Emotions ran high at State Sen. Daniel Biss’ (D-Evanston) public meeting on pension reform that brought out some 200 retirees, state workers and concerned Illinois residents Sunday afternoon in Evanston.

During the spring legislative session, the Illinois legislature fumbled on a measure that would help address the state’s nearly $100 billion in pension debt, which threatens funding for education and other core services. The state’s failure to pay its share of pension payments in the past is largely to blame for the ballooning debt.  

Biss sits on the Illinois General Assembly’s 10-member pension conference committee, which was put in place in June to cobble together a compromise bill.

Those at the meeting pressed the senator on when the group would have its pension proposal ready. And they were also adamant about bringing in more state revenue by closing corporate tax loopholes and implementing a progressive income tax in Illinois.

“We have a revenue problem, not a pension problem,” Bloomingdale resident Karl Gabbey said at the meeting. “Please do not blame the public employees ... public employees are taxpayers too just like anybody else.”

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