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Steans talks pensions on City Club panel

steans cityclub 090919Senator Heather Steans spoke alongside state government policymakers at the City Club of Chicago Monday to address ways the state can fulfill its pension obligations.

Steans talked about the possible revenue streams that could be used to pay down pension obligations and other methods.

"We have a moral obligation not just to the taxpayers, but to the public employees who have been betting on this," Steans said. "This is their retirement. We have an obligation as well to ... allow them to live dignified lives."

 

Steans stressed the actions the legislature has already taken, including a major overhaul of pensions in 2011. She also said decisive action is necessary sooner rather than later, and that court rulings have shown that the state cannot renege on the benefits it has already promised.

 

"I think we have to be realistic with the way we go about approaching this. We're not going to be able to impair those benefits," Steans said. "We need to look at this in a way that protects both employees and taxpayers in the state. The fast we get to it, the easier it is to solve."

The video is available on the City Club of Chicago's website.

Senator Heather Steans

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7th District

Years served: 2008 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations I (Chairperson); Appropriations II; Environment and Conservation; Executive Appointments; Executive; Government Accountability/Pensions; Human Services.

Biography: Born May 8, 1963, in Lake Forest, IL; B.A. in Urban Studies from Princeton; M.A. in Public Policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government; former budget director, WI Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations and former strategic planner, Chicago Public Schools; married (husband, Leo Smith) with three children.

Associated Representatives:
Kelly M. Cassidy
Gregory Harris