From Gov Quinn’s E-Newsletter today:
Illinois is at a crossroads. After decades of fiscal mismanagement, the time has come to move forward – and we must all work together to put our state on sound fiscal footing.
State pensions along with Medicaid place the largest strain on our state budget. The combined stress of these two programs limits our ability to fund other critical priorities, such as our schools and public safety. Without reforms, that strain will only increase and worsen our state’s debt. Now is the time for action, and I have developed a proposal and am committed to working with lawmakers in Springfield to pass major cost-saving reforms.
Recently, I announced a pension stabilization plan, which would save you, the taxpayers, $65 to $85 billion, while also allowing public employees who have spent years paying into the system to continue to receive the pension benefits they have earned.
Our Medicaid system is relied on by thousands of Illinois families. But without reforms, the system will collapse leaving those families without the assistance they need. In order to prevent that from happening, I also have a plan to stabilize Illinois’ Medicaid system. My plan will reduce waste, fraud and abuse. And because tobacco related health complications drive up Illinois healthcare spending, my plan includes increasing the tax on cigarettes, which will bring back federal matching dollars and help make people healthier.
I urge you, as a resident of Illinois to take an active role in your government. Please visit SaveOurState.Illinois.gov, where you will see that newspapers from across the state are endorsing these proposals to address these enormous challenges. If you would like to get involved, please tell your elected legislators that we must have true pension and Medicaid reform this session to make Illinois a strong economic competitor and keep our business growing.
Click here to find contact information for your state representative and senator. Please share this newsletter with your friends and family, and encourage them to reach out to legislators and demand action this session. Your outreach is absolutely critical to our success.
Regardless of where you stand, it is critical that we work together to solve these issues and restore fiscal stability for the generations to come.