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Raoul: “Continuing to skip pension payments is not an option”

raoul DRSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) issued the following statement in response to Comptroller Leslie Munger’s announcement today that the State of Illinois will skip its required November pension payment of $560 million:

Illinois’ sorry history of skipping payments to its pension systems has made its unfunded pension liability the highest in the country. The state has used its pension funds like credit cards to fund essential services because of a persistent unwillingness to face the fact that revenue isn’t keeping pace with the needs of its people.

Harmon letter to Trib editor: Rauner's budget hits working class hard

harmon rauneroped mrPublished in the Chicago Tribune, Tuesday, October 6:

For months, we in the General Assembly have been asking Gov. Bruce Rauner to explain how his "Turnaround Agenda" would relieve our state budget crisis.

This past week, he finally attached numbers to his big business corporate agenda, and it reveals his true goal — a whopping $5 billion "tax" on middle class families and not one single dollar more from those in our state who can most afford it, the rich.

Southern Illinois communities fear economic effects of higher education budget cuts

so il hi ed hearingCARTERVILLE- Illinois higher education institutions are still running despite the absence of a higher education budget.

John A. Logan Community College, like many state universities and community colleges, is absorbing costs up front to allow students to return to school this fall. However, this may force colleges and universities to cut vital services.

Senate Higher Education Committee Chairman Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) assembled the panel at John A. Logan to hear from community college representatives like Vice President for Business Services Brad McCormick, who is struggling to finance on-campus child care assistance and tutoring services for students.

Bennett, Frerichs join advocates for awareness of financial independence for people living with disabilities (AUDIO)

bennett frerichs092815CHAMPAIGN- Illinois families worried about the financial security of loved ones living with disabilities will soon have another resource to promote their independence.  

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) and Treasurer Michael Frerichs joined area advocates to raise awareness of a new law that will create a tax-exempt plan to help individuals and families save money to cover expenses for people living with disabilities. Senate Bill 1383 creates the Illinois Achieving a Better Life Expectancy Act (ABLE Act), which creates accounts similar to tax-advantaged college saving plans where income earned in the account is not taxable.