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Give Franks credit

Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

After reading your editorial, “Everything Else Can Wait,” and Kevin Craver’s article, “Illinois legislators’ hands are not idle,” in March 10’s edition, I was shocked by the revelations of time wasted on peripheral matters in our state House during a time of extraordinary fiscal chaos.

However, I could not help but feel that both articles ignored a crucially important detail.

There is, in fact, a member of the House who has called for an end to these silly legislative masquerades: Jack Franks. Franks is my representative in Springfield; I was proud to hear that he called weeks ago for the suspension of all other business pending in the House, so that all legislators can focus on Illinois’ massive pension underfunding, leaving less pressing matters for a time when Illinois is not at the precipice of collapse.

While in an ideal world, we would not have to make any difficult choices regarding the future of Illinois’ pension programs and the benefits they provide. We do not live in an ideal world. Without significant reforms, state retirement plans will soon be entirely unavailable to those who have contributed to them for many years of their working lives.

I wholeheartedly support Rep. Franks’ call to action. In his time as my representative, he has shown himself, time and again, to be a man committed to both fairness and fiscal probity. As such, I also support Mr. Craver’s view. However, I do wish that your editorial board had given credit where credit is due.

Sharon Gustafson


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