A press release from State Rep. Kent Gaffney:
Special Session: No Comprehensive Pension Reform, House Votes to Expel Smith
Springfield, IL… On Friday the Governor called a Special Session for lawmakers to consider pension reform to save the State’s growing pension crisis, however, no true reform was enacted.
State Representative Kent Gaffney (R-Wauconda) was disappointed with the legislation presented and voted against Senate Bill 3168 because it lacked the needed reform.
“Illinois has the worst public pension system in the nation. We need comprehensive reform that includes all of the pension systems.
“Upon becoming a lawmaker, I chose to reject a legislative pension and support reforming the pension system for all lawmakers, but a piecemeal approach to this problem is not the answer we need,” said Gaffney.
“I am calling on the Governor and Speaker Madigan to step up and show some leadership on this issue and quit playing political games.”
The bill offered Friday would have only have only reduced the state’s $83 billion unfunded pension liability by $42 to $45 million.
“I truly believe we’ve got one shot at meaningful pension reform. The bill that was dropped upon us Friday – while symbolic – would have done very little to solve our pension crisis.
‘I believe the Governor should have kept us in Springfield until we reached a compromise on real reform that would stabilize our public pension systems and protect Illinois taxpayers.”
Because the Governor called a special session rather than a regular session of the House, lawmakers were eligible to receive per idem for the day.
In an effort to save taxpayer dollars, Rep. Gaffney sent a letter to the Clerk rejecting the per diem.
In addition to pension reform, the Illinois House of Representatives voted in favor 100-6 to expel indicted State Representative Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) from the Illinois House.
Rep. Smith was arrested March 13, following an undercover investigation by the FBI; Smith now faces federal bribery charges for allegedly accepting a $7,000 cash bribe.
Rep. Gaffney voted in favor of expelling indicted State Representatives Derrick Smith.