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Legislative updates from Illinois House Republicans

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2012

Letters to the Editor

Tom Cross

House Republican Leader

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – As the General Assembly begins the final weeks of session before scheduled adjournment on May 31, the “big two” – pension and Medicaid reform – have dominated discussions throughout the state. I understand and respect the concerns of everyone who has participated in these discussions – including and especially those of you who have taken the time to call or write me with your feedback.

Over the years, every chance we get, Illinois House Republicans have been talking about enacting these reforms in order to get our state back on sound financial footing.

Now is a time to come together and put partisan, regional, and economic differences aside in order to achieve a meaningful and fair solution to the challenge imposed by the two 800-pound gorillas in the room – soaring pension and Medicaid costs. 

Governor Quinn should be commended for offering his suggestions on these major initiatives, but the fact that these problems have being building for years should be lost on no one. While it is promising to finally see Democrat leaders willing to accept the challenge of working with us to solve these twin crises, we should not have had to wait until reaching the brink of financial collapse before making long-overdue structural repairs, especially with regard to public pensions.

On this issue, House Republicans have framed the discussion.  Over the past two years, we’ve laid the groundwork. If you look at our pension proposal as compared to Governor Quinn’s recent plan, the end goals are the same:  restore fiscal solvency, ensure current and future retiree benefits are available, and stabilize the budget.  These are not new concepts or radical ideas; they are the fiscal reality we face. 

While differences remain and details must still be ironed out in order to find consensus on a fair solution moving forward, I wanted to take this moment to underscore the importance of this moment. The next two weeks will determine the course of our future in the State of Illinois across a wide range of issues.

We all share the same stake in the future. Now we must all share in the responsibility to make the difficult but necessary decisions to secure that future for our kids and grandkids.

Sincerely,

Tom Cross

House Republican Leader

State Representative, 84th District

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