manar120313rSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois General Assembly passed major changes to the state’s pension systems earlier today despite the opposition from several central Illinois lawmakers including State Senator Andy Manar (D–Bunker Hill). Manar released the following statement regarding his opposition to the proposal crafted by legislative leaders.

“Our state's pension crisis has been three decades in the making.  The problem caused by past choices of governors and legislators of both parties is owned by all of us today.  Regardless, until we fix it as a State, we will continue to struggle to move our economy and our state's long-term viability forward. 

Today’s passage of Senate Bill 1 failed several critical tests in addressing the crisis.  Key parties were left out of the process, and the constitutionality of the measure is deeply suspect which will without question result in even more uncertainty and cost as this legislation is tied up in court.

When I was first elected, a little over a year ago, I promised voters in the 48th district I would not take a pension.  I promised I would not vote to support a budget that skips a pension payment.  I have kept those promises.  I co-sponsored Senate Bill 2404 back during the spring legislative session, because it was a carefully considered piece of legislation that offered constitutionally viable, comprehensive pension reform.  I remain positive that we can come to a workable solution that better meets the constitutional requirements while offering reasonable protections for both retirees and taxpayers, but this bill isn't it.  For my colleagues and I, the work continues.”

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