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Franks: Don't delay, act on pensions

State Rep. Jack Franks issued the following news release on Tuesday:

Legislator calls for Governor Quinn to act on fiscal crisis

SPRINGFIELD – State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo) blasted Gov. Pat Quinn’s continued inaction on calling a special session of the state legislature to hash out a solution to Illinois’ fiscal crisis that passes constitutional muster and ensures the long-term fiscal stability of the pension systems.  Today, Franks rose on the House floor to highlight the costs of the Governor’s inadequate response to the crisis.

“In the twelve days since I proposed convening a special session, we have accumulated $204 million more debt to finance a pension system that we all know is unsustainable,” Franks said.  “This is unconscionable when the Governor is proposing hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to education and other vital programs.  If we had solved the pension issue, there would be no need for the cuts in the Governor’s budget proposal.”

On February 28, Franks, the chairman of the powerful House State Government Administration Committee, requested that Governor Quinn call the General Assembly into a special session solely devoted to addressing the pension crisis.  He has proposed an agenda that would include testimony from actuaries, stakeholders and constitutional experts, and a requirement that no other business be deliberated in the legislature until a deal is reached. 

“Drawing a cartoon snake is not leadership.  Throwing your hands into the air and saying ‘there’s nothing I can do about it’ is not leadership.  The elephant in the room is our pension system.  The Governor acknowledged that in his budget address, but inexplicably, he still refuses to act,” Franks continued. “We must fix the pension issue now.  Nothing else matters.  Nothing.”

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