ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Some Republican heavyweights made their way to Rockford today to talk about some of the major challenges facing the state of Illinois. It’s clear what the GOP leaders thought was challenge #1.
There is no question that every citizen in this State knows the Public Employee pension problems is job one,” said Illinois Chamber of Commerce President, Doug Whitley.
Illinois Chamber Pesident Doug Whitley joined congressman Adam Kinzinger and State Senator and Gubernatorial Candidate Kirk Dillard at Senator Dave Syverson's annual legislative luncheon. All four said that cutting public pension costs won't be easy and it will hurt, but it's something that must be tackled in order for the state to once again become financially solvent.
"It is unconscionable that we have not tackled public pension reform in the state of Illinois. But I am optimistic we are going to get something done. It is strangling out all state services, but it is strangling out unemployment. The private sector is not investing in Illinois because of the fear that we're not going to tackle the greatest problem that we have facing Illinois,” said Senator Kirk Dillard.
In last week's State of the State address. Governor Quinn urged lawmakers to support a plan by Senate President John Cullerton, that calls for state workers to choose between either losing their current pension benefits or losing their state subsidized health care.